Proposal Hearing on Bowling Stadium, Downtown Reno Development Tabled

by Bob Johnson 0

The Reno Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority was scheduled to hear a formal proposal today by P3 Partners, detailing its plans to redevelop the stadium and the Reno Events Center as part of a major downtown redevelopment project that also would involve the construction of a non-casino hotel.

However, at the request of P3 Partners, that meeting was tabled.

P3 Partners, a public-private development firm, said late last year that it would invest money in the stadium to make it suitable for volleyball, basketball, indoor soccer and possibly other sports in addition to bowling. It also would replace a blighted area between Virginia Street — home to downtown Reno’s three major casinos known collectively as The Row — and the bowling stadium, formerly home to the downtown bus station.

The idea is to create a more vibrant downtown district that would attract large groups of people year-round and every year, not just when the United States Bowling Congress is in town with its Open or Women’s Championships.

As part of its “vision statement” presented to the Reno City Council, P3 Partners included this proposal: “P3 Partners and their team of experts is proposing to invest in the repurposing of the current public facilities, i.e., the National Bowling Stadium and Reno Events Center. The level of that investment to be determined through a comprehensive Strategic Development Plan that will analyze the sports demand and recommend the appropriate mix of sports, wellness, fitness and other amenities necessary to maximize the utilization of these existing facilities. Once the depth and breadth of market demand is completed, a concept plan will be prepared to include improvement cost estimates, preliminary financing, and implementation schedule to be presented to the City.”

That concept plan is what the company had been scheduled to present this week.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.

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