Indoor Sports Facility

View Staff Report and Recommendation for September 18, 2017 City Council Meeting.  

Indoor Sports Facility Decision Deferred

City Council has decided to delay any decision on building a new Indoor Sports Facility until its meeting on September 18, 2017. Revised estimates for the project to build two ice rinks and five courts at a site on Church Road now put the total cost at between $36 and $39 million.

The new, higher costs prompted Councilmembers to re-examine the scope and location of the proposed facility at its meeting on June 19. After hearing testimony from residents and other stakeholders and much discussion, Council directed staff to provide data and analyze other options that will still meet the community’s need for more courts and the need to overhaul, replace, or expand the existing rink space.

Staff will also provide details about the process for putting the matter to the voters in the form of a ballot question should Council decide to take this course of action.

June 19 Public Hearing 

Residents and other stakeholders testified at the hearing and several others submitted comments for the record via email. If you would like to share your thoughts on the future of this project, please contact your Councilmembers

View the Staff Report for the June 19 meeting
View a video of the June 19 meeting. (Discussion begins about 22 minutes into the meeting.)

Options to Address Higher Cost of Project

  1. Canceling the project
  2. Proceeding with original program of five courts and two ice rinks, Cost - $36,145,000 to $38,856,000 depending on type of construction
  3. Reducing program to three courts and one ice rink. Cost - $23,072,000
  4. Reducing program to two ice rinks and no courts. Cost - $24,401,000
  5. Reducing program to five courts and no ice rinks. Cost - $16,500,000
  6. Selecting one of the reduced options offered above and move the location of the facility to a location more central in the City (e.g. Glen Allen Park, other) or
  7. Selecting another option that is raised at the meeting.

Existing Plan

Plans for the Indoor Sports Facility have evolved since the concept was first introduced several years ago. Current plans are for the City of Bowie to build a large indoor sports facility on a parcel of land on Church Road that the City purchased from the Maryland-National Park and Planning Commission. This may change at the meeting on June 19th, but for now the following information relates to the project as it currently stands.


The facility will include:
  • Five (5) hardwood basketball courts, much like those found at the Bowie Gymnasium
  • Six volleyball courts (overlaying the basketball courts)
  • Two (2) sheets of ice - one Olympic size and the other NHL size
  • Support spaces and meeting rooms
  • Outside parking for 525 vehicles


A parcel of land on Church Road purchased from the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. 
isf pic w arrow 600px

Anticipated Project Timetable

  • Design Complete: February 2018 
  • Building Permits Obtained: September 2018 
  • Construction Contractor Hired: September 2018 
  • Construction Complete: March 2020

Project Costs

The updated total project costs are estimated at $28 million. Funding for the project will come from General Fund revenues and from the issuance of bonds.

***This information has been updated at the top of this page***

Project Milestones to Date

City Council has been actively involved in the decision making for this project since hiring a consultant to complete a feasibility study for the facility in 2013. Below are the project milestones to date:

June 3, 2013 – Sports Facilities Advisory (SFA) presented a report to City Council at a public hearing showing their analysis of the need for a court facility, an ice facility, an aquatic facility and a turf facility in the City of Bowie. The SFA analysis also provided construction cost estimates and operating cost estimates for each of these types of facilities. Finally the SFA report provided recommendations regarding the scope of improvements for each of the above activities. The City had engaged the services of SFA to provide the above analysis. 

May 13, 2014 – A special Council Worksession was held concerning constructing an Indoor Sports Facility looking at five options as designated by City Council as follows: 
a) no build;
b) construction of a replacement ice facility only; 
c) construction of a court facility only;
d) construction of a court facility and construction of an ice facility; and 
e) construction of a replacement ice facility followed by construction of a court facility. 
Cost information, using the SFA analysis, was presented and timelines developed for each option. The time lines were established using the time frame for the City Hall Project as an example.

May 19, 2014 – City Council adopted a budget CIP for FY 2015 that included the recommendation to construct a court facility and an ice facility. Specifications for the court and ice facility were as recommended in the SFA analysis. Budgeted costs were based on those established by SFA. 

May 18, 2015 – City Council adopted a budget for FY 2016 that again included the recommendation to construct a court facility and ice facility using the same information as contained in the FY 2015 budget. The reason this was done is that the City was unable to locate a property that was sufficient to begin this project in FY 2015. 

May 16, 2016 – City Council adopted a budget for FY 2017 that once again included the recommendation to construct a court facility and ice facility using the same information as contained in the FY 2015 budget. Again, the reason this was done is that the City was unable to locate a property that was sufficient to begin this project in FY 2016. 

The process for selecting a site for the facility was extensive. Using the City's GIS system, undeveloped parcels of land that were in close proximity to central Bowie and of sufficient size were identified. In the end, a 20-acre parcel off of Church Road (northeast of Freeway Airport) was selected as the best location. In 2015 a site analysis was conducted and negotiations began with the owner (Maryland National Capital Park & Planning Commission). The property was acquired by the City in the spring of 2016. 

June 23, 2016 – The deed was recorded on the acquisition of the Church Road property with M-NCPPC to acquire a 20-acre site for $210,000 on which to construct the Indoor Sports Facility. 

September 6, 2016 - At a City Council meeting, the Council voted to hire a project management firm for this project. View staff report for this meeting.

February 21, 2017 - At a City Council meeting, the Council voted to hire the project architect, Hughes Group Architects, of Germantown, MD. 

March 15, 2017 – City staff met with the Architect to kick-off the design process. 

June 7, 2017 - Stakeholders notified of new project estimates

June 19, 2017 - Public Hearing at City Council Meeting. City Council decides to defer decision until September 5, 2017 meeting, to allow staff to gather more specific details on various options for scaling back the project. 

Documents Related to the Indoor Sports Facility Study (2013)