A Destination Tournament Soccer Complex (DTSC) is one step closer to reality as the preferred site has been selected, which is 51 acres in Osage Beach that was submitted by Arrowhead Development Group, LLC.

A Destination Tournament Soccer Complex (DTSC) is one step closer to reality as the preferred site has been selected, which is 51 acres in Osage Beach that was submitted by Arrowhead Development Group, LLC.  A Request for Proposal (RFP) for the potential complex was issued in early March for 30-60 acres and eight proposals were submitted to include one in Eldon, two in Lake Ozark, three in Osage Beach and two in unincorporated areas of Camden County near Linn Creek. The RFP was sent to landowners, brokers and developers within the three counties that make up the Lake of the Ozarks Region in Central Missouri: Camden County, Miller County, and Morgan County.  

The Lake of the Ozarks Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) and Tri County Lodging Association (TCLA) have been studying for quite some time, how we could bring additional visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks and increase the economic activity of the whole Lake Area. In 2016 the CVB completed a two-phase feasibility study conducted by Convention & Sports Leisure (CSL) on recreational complexes.  The study indicated the Lake Area could support a destination tournament soccer complex with 12-14 tournaments with 50-300 teams each weekend in the spring and again in the fall. It is estimated that this would have a $75 million economic impact annually for the Lake Area.

Since the completion of the CSL feasibility study, the CVB, TCLA and other local businesses and organizations moved forward with exploring how a DTSC complex could be designed, built, and operated in the most efficient manner possible.  XO Strategic, a company owned by former Kansas City Chiefs Hall of Famer and former owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Deron Cherry, and led by former Major League Soccer executives and youth soccer entrepreneurs, were engaged to operationalize the CSL study.  On December 4, 2018, XO Strategic rendered their report that concluded that the Lake Area had a unique opportunity to capitalize on the growing $18 billion youth sports industry by constructing a DTSC financed primarily from a proposed increase in the lodging tax at the Lake. The TCLA Board of Directors has approved a November 2019 election initiative that seeks a 3% increase in the lodging tax in Camden County, a 1% increase in the lodging tax in Miller County and a 3% increase in the lodging tax in Morgan County.

At the suggestion of XO Strategic, an Advisory Committee was created consisting of 5 voting members: 3 community-minded business leaders from the Lake Area, and the current presidents of the CVB and TCLA.  The executive directors of both the CVB and TCLA serve as non-voting consultants to the Advisory Committee, and XO Strategic was again engaged to moderate the Advisory Committee and provide operational guidance and advice to the Committee.  At the direction of the Advisory Committee, XO Strategic drafted the RFP and was responsible for its administration through site selection for the Project. XO is not a voting member of the Advisory Committee.

Tim Jacobsen, Executive Director of the CVB states, “The idea of a sporting facility that will bring families to the Lake Area in the shoulder seasons and create the estimated economic growth for the entire Lake is very exciting. The community has been very supportive of this type of long-term project that will benefit all businesses in the Lake Area and the overall economic growth for years to come.”

Dane W. Henry, FACHE, Chief Financial Officer, Lake Regional Health Systems has stated, “The development of this soccer complex represents a rare and important opportunity to strengthen and diversify the Lake Area’s economy.  A family focused attraction, such as a destination sporting facility, will undoubtedly bring new visitors and revenue to multiple Lake of the Ozarks resorts, hotels, restaurants and other attractions.  I truly believe this facility will introduce the Lake to an entirely new generation of young visitors.  It will establish our community and region as the place they associate with vacation and enjoyment. We must aggressively pursue this incredible opportunity!”

The next steps in the process of a potential DTSC are to determine: the ownership, the operation, the tournament director, and the final funding details.