Marysville is planning a new indoor sports facility, 350 apartments and a sizable hotel east of Ebey Waterfront Park. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Marysville is planning a new indoor sports facility, 350 apartments and a sizable hotel east of Ebey Waterfront Park. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)

Marysville planning $73M sports hub, with downtown apartments, hotel

Officials hope the facility will become a top destination for basketball and volleyball tournaments, addressing an acute need.

MARYSVILLE — In a few years, you could walk near the Ebey Waterfront in Marysville and see a new, all-in-one tourism hub with a colossal indoor sports facility, as well as hundreds of apartments and hotel rooms.

Marysville officials hope the new indoor sports facility and family entertainment center, with an estimated $73 million price tag, will become a top destination for basketball and volleyball tournaments. Preliminary plans include eight basketball courts, which could turn into 16 volleyball courts.

The city believes a few years after opening, the complex could attract 30 to 45 weekend tournaments per year. Estimates say it could bring in $37 million in consumer spending across the county annually.

“I like to say we’re a premier destination for sports,” said Tammy Dunn, executive director of the Snohomish County Sports Commission. “This would just elevate our game.”

It could also play host to gymnastics, cheer and corporate events. A 2019 report noted there might be demand for mixed martial arts or esports, as well.

And a 50,000-square-foot family entertainment center would boast go-karts, laser tag and bowling, city documents finalized this week show.

The proposed facilities, located across State Avenue from the waterfront park, would also include a 7,000-square-foot restaurant and bar on city-owned property east of I-5. Part of the site currently houses the city’s public works department, while the rest is vacant.

The project is in the early planning stages, said the city’s chief administrative officer, Gloria Hirashima. Construction is planned to begin in 2026 and would last 12 to 18 months.

The 20-plus-acre development also expects to have 350 luxury apartments and a 175-room hotel. The city dreams of players and their families coming to the new facility for weekend tournaments and staying at the hotel.

Paul Pukis, a Snohomish developer working on the sports complex, said he has traveled as far as Philadelphia and Charlotte for his daughter’s Amateur Athletic Union basketball tournaments. The idea of a facility with the capacity to have those events locally is part of what drew him to the project.

“This area has nothing like this,” Pukis said. “It needs to happen.”

The city doesn’t have an estimated cost for the apartments and hotel. But the development could get off the ground quicker for those aspects, while the financing of the sports complex could prove complicated.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done,” said Hirashima, who is managing the project for the city.

Pukis has local private investors interested in helping pay for the sports facility. Some public money could augment that.

“Everyone is very committed to making this happen,” he said. “It’s just about finding enough sources” to fund it.

Hirashima sees the development as a potential centerpiece in the city’s dream of revitalizing its downtown. The city has been buying up waterfront properties along Ebey Slough for over a decade, she said. Road and stormwater improvement endeavors have aimed to make the longtime industrial area ready for major development.

This site plan shows where the city wants to put a new indoor sports complex, apartments and a hotel near the Ebey Slough. (City of Marysville)

This site plan shows where the city wants to put a new indoor sports complex, apartments and a hotel near the Ebey Slough. (City of Marysville)

“The idea is for it to be a catalyst for the city,” Hirashima said Thursday.

The push to bring a major indoor sporting facility to Snohomish County has also been in the works for years.

In 2019, a real estate consulting firm found there was a “significant gap in quality, sizeable basketball and volleyball venues in the state.” The firm’s report indicated there was no comprehensive indoor sports complex within 200 miles of Snohomish County, sending young athletes and their families to Oregon or Spokane for tournaments.

Local AAU representatives told the consultants while play in this area was booming, they needed somewhere to compete locally. The consulting firm recommended an eight-court basketball facility that could be converted to 16 volleyball courts, like the one planned.

“There’s a huge need for indoor sports locally,” Dunn said.

The 2019 study identified Phil Johnson Ballfields and Kasch Park as potential sites.

About a year ago, the sports commission and city officials put their heads together, Hirashima said, with the idea of using the city’s new properties as a site for the commission’s dream of a state-of-the-art indoor sports complex.

“It’s exciting to see a dream come true,” Dunn said.

Jake Goldstein-Street: 425-339-3439; jake.goldstein-street@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @GoldsteinStreet.

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