During the Tuesday, October 10 Prince William Board of County Supervisors meeting, Supervisor Kenny Boddye (D-Occoquan) expressed public support for the County seeking an interim agreement with MEB General Contractors, Inc. to explore the development of an indoor sports and events center. The agreement would allow MEB to analyze several prospective sites in the county, study costs and impacts, and engage with the community to gather public feedback.
A coalition of student athletes, parents, coaches, and others came to speak in favor of such a facility, noting the lack of indoor space for practice and tournaments in Prince William County. A common theme among student athletes was the toll that long hours of travel takes on their athletic and academic performance. More than one called it, “exhausting.”
“An indoor sports complex would be an investment in our families and future,” Boddye said. “As the father of a competitive cheerleader, I know firsthand the challenges of having to travel long distances for practices and tournaments. What’s more, each of those trips takes money that would be spent here into other communities. It is a missed opportunity.”
In addressing the Board, lifelong county resident and Olympic gold medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley, highlighted how the lack of an indoor facility disadvantages student athletes who don’t have the financial resources to travel to meets. These children miss out on opportunities to compete at a higher level and be scouted by college coaches, she said.
This Tuesday’s Board meeting also drew pickleball enthusiasts, who emphasized the camaraderie the sport offers for older residents.
The MEB General Contractors proposal indicated that the facility would be established on the I-95 corridor, and serve the Greater Prince William community. Sports under consideration for inclusion would include volleyball, track, basketball, swimming and pickleball. It could also serve as a location for large community gatherings such as high school graduations, providing an alternative for Prince William schools that currently rent a venue outside the county, like Eagle Bank Arena in Fairfax County.
Supervisor Boddye noted that the project could be transformative. “An indoor sports facility – with the right location, specifications and programming – would benefit Prince William County residents of all ages and grow our local economy. It could also become a venue for conferences and corporate events; restaurants, hotels and other businesses would flourish, generating prosperity and creating hundreds of more jobs right here at home.”
MEB’s proposal noted that the target date for the opening of such a facility would be 2025.