Indoor Sports Facility

Status of This Project 

Plans for the Indoor Sports Facility have evolved since the concept was first introduced several years ago. Current plans are for the City of Bowie to build a large indoor sports facility on a parcel of land on Church Road that the City purchased from the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission. 


The facility will include:
  • Five (5) hardwood basketball courts, much like those found at the Bowie Gymnasium
  • Six volleyball courts (overlaying the basketball courts)
  • Two (2) sheets of ice - one Olympic size and the other NHL size
  • Support spaces and meeting rooms
  • Outside parking for 525 vehicles


A parcel of land on Church Road purchased from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission.

Anticipated Project Timetable

  • Project Management Firm Hired: September 2016 
  • Architect/Engineering Firm Hired: December 2016 
  • Construction Documents Complete: February 2018 
  • Building Permits Obtained: September 2018 
  • Construction Contractor Hired: September 2018 
  • Construction Complete: March 2020

Project Costs

Total project costs are estimated at $23,420,000. Funding for the project will come from General Fund revenues and from the issuance of bonds.  
Details about anticipated costs of the project can be found in the Staff Report listed below for the September 6, 2016 meeting.

Project Milestones to Date

City Council has been actively involved in the decision making for this project since hiring a consultant to complete a feasibility study for the facility in 2013. Below are the project milestones to date:

June 3, 2013 – Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) presented a report to City Council at a public hearing showing their analysis of the need for a court facility, an ice facility, an aquatic facility and a turf facility in the City of Bowie. The SFA analysis also provided construction cost estimates and operating cost estimates for each of these types of facilities. Finally the SFA report provided recommendations regarding the scope of improvements for each of the above activities. The City had engaged the services of SFA to provide the above analysis. 

May 13, 2014
– A special Council Worksession was held concerning constructing an Indoor Sports Facility looking at five options as designated by City Council as follows: 
a) no build;
b) construction of a replacement ice facility only; 
c) construction of a court facility only;
d) construction of a court facility and construction of an ice facility; and 
e) construction of a replacement ice facility followed by construction of a court facility. 
Cost information, using the SFA analysis, was presented and timelines developed for each option. The time lines were established using the time frame for the City Hall Project as an example.

May 19, 2014 – City Council adopted a budget CIP for FY 2015 that included the recommendation to construct a court facility and an ice facility. Specifications for the court and ice facility were as recommended in the SFA analysis. Budgeted costs were based on those established by SFA. 

May 18, 2015 – City Council adopted a budget for FY 2016 that again included the recommendation to construct a court facility and ice facility using the same information as contained in the FY 2015 budget. The reason this was done is that the City was unable to locate a property that was sufficient to begin this project in FY 2015. 

May 16, 2016 – City Council adopted a budget for FY 2017 that once again included the recommendation to construct a court facility and ice facility using the same information as contained in the FY 2015 budget. Again, the reason this was done is that the City was unable to locate a property that was sufficient to begin this project in FY 2016. 

The process for selecting a site for the facility was extensive. Using the City's GIS system, undeveloped parcels of land that were in close proximity to central Bowie and of sufficient size were identified. In the end, a 20-acre parcel off of Church Road (northeast of Freeway Airport) was selected as the best location. In 2015 a site analysis was conducted and negotiations began with the owner (Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission). The property was acquired by the City in the spring of 2016. 

June 23, 2016 – The deed was recorded on the acquisition of the Church Road property with M-NCPPC to acquire a 20-acre site for $210,000 on which to construct the Indoor Sports Facility. 

September 6, 2016 - At a City Council meeting, the Council voted to hire a project management firm for this project. View staff report for this meeting.



A New Indoor Sports Facility?

In December 2012, the City consulted with The Sports Facility Advisory (SFA) to assess the need for a new indoor sports facility in Bowie. If a need was identified, SFA was assigned to determine what type of indoor sports activities should be included, what features the facility should have, recommendations on location, and fees and costs associated with construction and operations.

Final Report by Consultants

After several months of study and assessment, the consultant presented its final report at the June 3, 2013 meeting of the City Council. The final report found demand for four types of facilities and ranked the needs in the following order:
1. A court facility to be used by basketball, volleyball and wrestling
2. A swimming facility
3. A two sheet ice arena
4. An indoor turf field
The following documents were provided to Council for the June 3, 2013 meeting:

City Council began discussing the need for a new indoor sports facility a few years ago after the Recreation Master Plan noted the future need for additional indoor recreational space in Bowie. In the FY 2013 Budget, Council authorized a detailed needs assessment and site assessment be conducted.

The Assessment Process
The Sports Facilities Assessment Group, from Clearwater Florida was hired as the City's consultant to perform the necessary work. The process began early in 2013 with an outreach to approximately 90 locally organized sports groups in the Bowie community that play a variety of sports throughout the year. Meetings with each group, gathered by sport, were held with the consultant to identify program needs for indoor space. User groups were asked to provide data representing their previous year usage of indoors facilities and their anticipated level of activity in the coming year. This data involved the number of teams, the number of players on a team, practice time scheduled, and identifying any unmet needs.

Following this process, the general public was provided an opportunity to communicate their needs via an online survey on the City’s website. The consultant received almost 1,000 responses regarding indoor sporting and activity preferences, the frequency of participation in sports by type, and the rental time used and needed.

The consultants focused on four specific indoor sports facility models:
  • An indoor turf field component for field sports including soccer, lacrosse, football and baseball
  • A competitive swimming pool
  • An ice rink with two sheets of ice
  • Court space for basketball, volleyball, and wrestling.
On Tuesday, May 7, 2013, The Sports Facilities Advisory group held a public meeting at the Kenhill Center to discuss its progress and to hear from residents about their concerns and comments regarding the project. Approximately 60 persons attended.

Progress to date, included:
  • Extensive meetings with over 85 organized sports groups
  • The results of an online community survey
  • Analysis of the four potential types of sports facilities
    - An indoor turf facility
    - An indoor basketball/volleyball facility
    - An indoor aquatics facility
    - A two sheet ice arena
The consultant also shared estimated costs for these facilities and briefly reviewed potential sites in the community. Questions from the audience were answered for about 45 minutes regarding project costs, timing, location and features of these four concept facilities as noted.

View the Public Presentation (30 pages)