• Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

A&P Commission discusses proposed Jonesboro sporting complex


JONESBORO, Ark- To bring a sports complex to town or not? That was the topic of the Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commissions meeting.


Jonesboro Parks and Recreations Director Danny Kapales spoke to the A&P Commission about bringing a sporting facility to town. Kapales says the first step would be figuring out what type of complex Jonesboro would benefit from.


“You need to look at Jonesboro and its surrounding area. And Jonesboro is the heart of northeast Arkansas. We need to make sure that we’re planning for what this area needs. What are our strong points? We’re strong in basketball. We’re strong in volleyball. Those are key items; how do we build to make sure we’re strong there,” Kapales told the commission.


He also mentioned key items needed when planning for a sports venue and showed state-of-the-art facilities in Alabama; Cape Girardeau, Missouri; Georgia; Indiana; and Benton, Arkansas.


Kapales points out the strong swim community in Jonesboro, yet the town only has one pool.

Many people spoke in favor of a multi-sport facility, including one man whose daughter plays volleyball and tennis.


“There are few things in life that are as life-changing to a child as sports and arts and, I’m an advocate for both. Right now, we lack the facilities that all the other places in the state have,” says Scott

McDaniel, who spoke at the informational meeting.


As McDaniel’s family travels for sporting events, he thinks about the revenue Jonesboro could bring in

if the city has the proper facilities.


“The benefit of having everything in one place leads to more participants, which leads to more money. Which also leads to more people staying in hotel rooms and more people spending money,” he said.


A prepared food tax was suggested to fund a future facility.


Jonesboro City Council member Rev. Dr. Charles Coleman attended the meeting urgently asked the A&P Commission to start the planning stages of the complex.


“Our children need these places. We don’t have enough space now. Start appointing people, make a board as quick as possible, bring it to the community as quick as possible so we can start on this process,” Dr. Coleman said.


This was only an information meeting with no decisions made.


Jonesboro Advertising and Promotions Commission chairman Jerry Morgan says they would tentatively set another meeting date to continue this discussion.

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