Six sand volleyball courts and two kickball fields are taking shape at the east end of Berkley Riverfront Park and should be ready for play by August.
The $200,000 project is funded by Port KC, which teamed with KC Crew to address growing demand for sports courts and green space in the downtown area, largely fueled by an influx of millennial residents.
“It was our idea,” said Luke Wade, founder of KC Crew, which operates recreational sports leagues. “We brought it to Port KC for consideration. We’ve been running leagues all over the city, but our big focus was adding courts downtown because we’re constantly running out of places to play.”
The courts, which will have high-efficiency LED lights for night play, will be installed along with a new “leisure area” where people can bring their own bocce ball, badminton, croquet or other sports equipment. Later plans call for construction of a bocce court and other amenities.
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Planners estimate that about 1,000 volleyball players and about 250 kickball players a week could use the new facilities, which are scheduled to be open for play through all but the winter months.
“That could be on the low end of use,” Wade said. “We’ll reserve them for league play almost every night of the week and have weekend tournaments” starting in late August.
The courts will be available for public use when not reserved by KC Crew.
Mark One Electric Co. and Goode Developing and Associates are working on the construction.
The recreational sports area is part of a long-term Berkley Riverfront Development plan by Port KC for a mixed-use “urban village” on property it owns near the Missouri River.