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Nelly, Larry Hughes propose sports complex

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  • Nelly, Larry Hughes propose sports complex

    Nelly, Hughes propose sports complex
    By Mark Schlinkmann

    Larry Hughes (left) and Nelly

    Hip-hop artist Nelly and pro basketball player Larry Hughes want to build a $30 million indoor athletic complex near the Page Avenue extension to house soccer, softball, football, lacrosse and other sports.

    The facility, which the prospective builder said would be the largest air-supported sports complex in the United States, is planned for the site of the defunct Arrowhead Airport in Maryland Heights' Howard Bend area.

    Nelly and Hughes know each other socially and through charity work and hope to expand to other locations if the project is successful, said Christopher "Topher" Jones, an official with their company.

    The project would feature climate-controlled fields with artificial turf in two inflated buildings — each 105 feet high and with about 200,000 square feet of space, or able to house two baseball fields apiece.

    Amateur and professional teams, small groups and individual athletes could use the facility. So could leagues, camps and conventions.

    "It will change the way outdoor activities are trained, practiced and played in the area," said Jones, vice president of Twin Domes LLC, which is proposing the complex. Advertisement

    Twin Domes' primary owners are Nelly, who grew up in University City, and Hughes, a former St. Louis University standout who plays for the NBA's Cleveland Cavaliers.

    Jones, who has been talking informally with city officials about the 60-acre-plus site since last year, said Twin Domes later this week would submit a request for rezoning needed for the project.

    Maryland Heights' community development director, J. Wayne Oldroyd, said "a whole series of reviews" would be required by the city.

    The request could go before the city Planning and Zoning Commission as soon as April, he said. Approval is up to the City Council.

    The two air-supported structures, which are built with fabric and a frame, would be connected by a conventional two-story building.

    Jones said the conventional building would include a fitness facility, basketball courts, medical and rehab offices, a wireless Internet area and food concessions.

    He said there would be moveable stands available that could be used for spectator-drawing events such as high school games and tournaments. But he emphasized that other entertainment wouldn't be allowed.

    "It's a sports complex only," he said. "No music."

    The complex would be built by Arizon Cos., a Maryland Heights-based firm that has put up air-supported structures around the world.

    Jones said Twin Domes also checked out sites in St. Charles and other parts of the metro area but is pursuing the Maryland Heights location "because of the attractiveness of the land deal" there. He didn't elaborate except to say that Twin Domes has an option to buy the site.

    If Maryland Heights doesn't approve the project, Jones said, the other sites would be reconsidered. Or they might be considered for other business opportunities Nelly may pursue in the future, said Jones. Jones also is vice president of business development for Nelly Inc.

    Jones said Nelly and Hughes also are partners in Skybox, a sports bar on Laclede's Landing, with former Rams player Marshall Faulk and pro basketball player Darius Miles.
    Last edited by Bleacher Creature; 02-20-2008, 05:18 AM.
    Make America Great For Once.

  • #2
    I'd like to see pics of this when they're available.
    RIP Chris Jones 1971-2009
    You'll never be forgotten.


    • #3