Casper City Council members voted Tuesday to lease land near the Ford Wyoming Center for the construction of a new indoor sports facility.
Under the agreement, the city will allow nonprofit WYO Complex to use the city-owned land, building the facility with private money. That group, made of Casper residents, was formed to push this project through.
The lease lasts 99 years and will cost WYO Complex $1 annually.
The Wyo Sports Ranch was first proposed in January as a way to expand capacity for high school sports tournaments, youth sports and other events at the Ford Wyoming Center.
Organizers estimate construction will cost around $39 million, mostly from private donations, and should be completed by summer 2024.
WYO Complex board member Jessica Hastings told council members on Tuesday that fundraising has begun and is going well.
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The facility is still in the design phase, according to a city memo. Local architecture firm Stateline No. 7 has been tapped for the design.
Current plans include an indoor turf space and separate hardwood courts for basketball, volleyball, cheer and other sports.
In a previous council meeting, Ford Wyoming Center General Manager Brad Murphy said the venue’s parent company is on board with the project and is interested in helping to operate the new space. Right now, the center hosts high school state tournaments for basketball, volleyball, wrestling and spirit teams.
Organizers with WYO Complex said previously they would likely seek a similar third-party management company once the center is up and running, putting out a request for proposals at that time.
Plans for the new facility would add around 700 additional parking spaces in the area. An initial plan proposed just 250 spaces.
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