Quad Cities mayors, business leaders and school kids gathered on Wednesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of a $57 million sports complex in Bettendorf.
The project includes a $45 million, 79-acre sports complex and entertainment center and a $12 million commercial site.
The Bettendorf City Council approved the project just a few weeks ago, establishing a 20-year tax increment finance district at Middle Road and Forest Grove where the complex will be located.
Tara Barney of the Quad Cities Chamber of Commerce says the project will benefit the entire Quad Cities community.
"We talk a lot about how we make the Quad Cities cool and special and different from the rest of the country, and having one of the biggest complexes here for sports activities is one of the ways we do that."
The site will be home to multiple baseball and soccer fields, basketball and volleyball courts, a family entertainment center and a 33-acre commercial space available for rent.
At a groundbreaking ceremony today, private businessman Doug Kratz who's behind the project announced Genesis Health Systems will be renting space for a physical therapy center in the complex.
He also hopes to use the complex for statewide sports tournaments, such as AAU basketball.
Kratz says construction of the project will employ about 300 people. Once completed, the BettPlex will employ about 150. He says he's confident the project will be completed in a year, though other officials declined to give a timeline.
14-year-old Alex Clemmons of Bettendorf says he can't wait.
"I'm most excited for all of the competition that we'll get to come here. We'll get better baseball teams here and I'm really excited that we can walk here, too."