Kansas Sports Academy to locate at planned Caban Marketplace in Bel Aire

WICHITA — Developers of the planned Caban Marketplace along North Rock Road in Bel Aire are sharing specifics for one phase of the potentially 580-acre development.

Tom Blitz of Shopping Center Development & Consulting says there are plans for a $22 million, 220,000-square-foot Kansas Sports Academy that would locate south of Highway 254 and north of the new Bel Aire high school.

He says the complex will have 17 full-size basketball courts, 25 volleyball courts, eight tennis courts and three outdoor sand volleyball courts and be intended as a place to develop athletes.

“It’s more of an environment to bring in professional coaches and help train traveling teams,” Blitz says.

He says there also will be strength and speed training areas as well.

“This is an academy,” Blitz says. “Not just here’s a court and play.”

There are several developers behind Caban Marketplace. Blitz won’t say who is doing the Kansas Sports Academy.

“They are choosing to remain anonymous at the moment.”

In addition to sports venues, Caban Marketplace potentially will include retail stores, a water park/destination hotel and an aquarium among other things.

The size and scope of the project could be affected by whether the developers and city are able to get approval from the state to use sales and tax revenue bond financing, which is repaid using the state sales tax collected from businesses on site. The bonds would be used to build the project’s infrastructure.

STAR bonds are intended for destination projects that pull in at least 30 percent of visitors from beyond a 100-mile radius.

Blitz says the Kansas Sports Academy would be part of the group’s STAR bonds request. He won’t say how much that will be.

“We’re putting the final touches on it and submitting it soon.”

Blitz says he’s not sure what will happen if the bonds aren’t approved.

“We’ll have to jump that hurdle when we get there,” he says. “We’re moving forward like we’re going to get it.”