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La Vista takes a chance and wins with new sports complex

A long-time multi-sports complex will soon be a reality in Sarpy County.
Published: May. 27, 2022 at 5:49 PM CDT
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LA VISTA, Neb. (WOWT) - An economic shot in the arm for the city of La Vista: Plans for a new sports complex.

This and other growth in the community is the result of a long-shot gamble by the town forty years ago.

“We are a landlocked city, and you cannot just rely on property taxes as you continue to grow,” La Vista Mayor Doug Kindig said.

Along with relying on homeowners, La Vista’s main source of income for years was its small business base along 84th Street.

But four decades ago, the city took a big chance expanding out to Interstate 80 and things quickly began to change.

“You’re right,” Kindig said. “It wasn’t that many years ago that we had gravel roads coming through our city and we did take some chances and we have diversified our tax base.”

At that time, Interstate 80 was several miles outside La Vista’s tax base.

But over the years, westward expansion has provided a much larger tax base.

A long-time multi-sports complex will soon be a reality in Sarpy County.

“We’ve set a course that included hotel tax and sales tax and a restaurant tax,” Kindig said. “The majority of those taxes are paid by non-La Vista residents which is a win for our citizens. “When you look at the development off the interstate and the businesses, we have just maybe even a half-mile in a lot of our world-class industrial businesses because of the interstate access, have decided to make La Vista their home.”

That includes the new Nebraska MultiSport Complex due to open later this fall.

“The access to the interstate is a key player in all of this like even for Lincoln, it’s 45 minutes away from Lincoln to come up here and play and that makes a difference,” Nebraska MultiSport Complex Executive Director Craig Scriven said. “Right now, we’ve got people actually driving through Nebraska to go and compete in sports events, so now we’re going to cut their time down and the amount of time that they have to drive they’ll stop off and they get to experience this great city.”

Regional tournaments with quick and easy access to this complex could bring an estimated 32,000 people spending $9.9M in the city annually.

“The interstate access definitely opened up our city,” Kindig said. “And I think probably the biggest thing that’s happened to the city to spur that growth that we continue to see today.”

La Vista’s desire to connect with the interstate 40 years ago resulted in the Harrison Street and Giles Road interchange.

Development around that interchange began springing up almost immediately.

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