It’s been a slowly rolling process, but it seems that the lake may finally be getting a glimpse at its future soccer complex.

It’s been a slowly rolling process, but it seems that the lake may finally be getting a glimpse at its future soccer complex.

In June 2018, it was officially announced that lake officials would be exploring the possibilities of a soccer complex within the tri-county area. With the city of Camdenton being one of the main entities funding the feasibility study, it began to spread throughout the lake and is now a fully formed, committed idea. After months of working alongside XO Strategic to see the full scale of the project, Tim Jacobson, executive director of the Lake of the Ozarks Convention and Visitors Bureau, announced that movement had been made in their decision process.

Alongside the Tri-County Lodging Association, the group has decided that Osage Beach will be the township selected to host the complex. Though the exact acreage is still in flux, the projected location would be 51-acres on KK near the Arrowhead development. This location was submitted by Arrowhead Development Group, LLC. The Request for Proposal for the complex was issued in early March for 30-60 acres, with eight total proposal being submitted to the group. These included sites in Eldon, Lake Ozark, Osage Beach, and Linn Creek.

Jacobson says that the official acquiring of this land still have some steps to go, but he and the groups behind him are confident that this location was the best option for the potential complex. Once the land is officially in hand, there are still a number of items that need to be completed to meet the November deadline for county voting.

Among these items is determining the facility owner. This option could be designated to Osage Beach itself or perhaps another party within the project. The group will also have to figure out a tournament operator for year-round operation, though Jacobson hopes to have this duty handed to Heartland Soccer Association, who has been a part of the process since early on and has expressed the most interest.

If the group is able to accomplish these tasks by the end of the year, Jacobson says they hope to get the issue on the November ballot for voting. In order to acquire funding, a bonding increase in the Tri-County Lodging tax would be necessary. All three counties would be asked to vote on this tax increase, though by previous measures, only Camden County would be mandatory to pass to consider the funding to be plentiful. Of course, the goal is to get all three counties on board. If this all goes as planned, Jacobson says the entire project could see a completion in 2021.

When looking at site selection, Jacobson says that the biggest factor for Osage Beach was the travel access. He says that, if building begins, there will be a number of new roadways built for ease of traffic access, including addition roadways near Nichols Rd and Case Rd.

With tournaments making local hotel stays mandatory, he expects that all tournament weekend would see the entire lake booked in hotel stays and economic benefits being seen throughout the entire lake area.

“It’s very exciting that we can continue to move forward with transparency as we go through each step of the process to be able to justify the viability of such a project for our area and the potential it could bring to all aspects of business to the lake,” Jacobson said.