FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 14, 2017
Director of Communications
(Council Bluffs, IA) The newly named Iowa West Field House near the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs is open for business and has a new operating partner. Following a national search, Omaha Sports Academy was chosen to run the recreation center that features eight full-sized hardwood basketball courts and 12 full-sized hardwood volleyball courts.
“From the beginning, our goals for the field house were to provide hard-court space and access to southwest Iowa sports teams as well as to drive economic development in the Mid-America Center and tourism in Council Bluffs,” said Pete Tulipana, President, and CEO of the Iowa West Foundation. “Omaha Sports Academy has a proven model that will draw residents and visitors alike to the facility and surrounding area while keeping community access a top priority.”
The agreement with Omaha Sports Academy includes an annual review with a “community use committee” which will be comprised of officials from Iowa West Foundation and representatives from youth sports organizations in the local area.
“Our agreement with Omaha Sports Academy guarantees our commitment to the community to make this facility open and accessible, and assures that the Foundation’s investments can continue to make an impact long-term,” Tulipana said.
With one location in West Omaha, the Omaha Sports Academy offers youth sport instructional clinics, camps, academies and tournaments in its facility that features four full-sized courts and a specially designed court for youth ages three to six. The Iowa West Field House will be more than twice that size.
“We are excited to partner with Iowa West on the opportunity to expand our capacity, working with sports league providers and drawing tournaments to what we believe is a great amenity for the region,” said Bob Franzese, Co-owner and General Manager of Omaha Sports Academy. “We look forward to working with local organizations to utilize the facility to full capacity."
Omaha Sports Academy has hired a Council Bluffs native to serve as the General Manager. Nate Dix will assume the role of day to day management of the facility, which began hosting tournament play Jan. 13.
“This is a dream job for me, running a state-of-the-art youth sports facility in my hometown,” Dix said. “I’m eager to demonstrate what the Iowa West Field House and Omaha Sports Academy can offer in southwest Iowa and show off our community to tournament guests as well.”
A ribbon cutting and public open house celebration for the Iowa West Field House will be held on Feb. 9 from 5-7 p.m. Omaha Sports Academy also will host a job fair targeting southwest Iowa youth for part-time positions including referees and scorekeepers on Saturday, Feb. 4th from 8:30-10:30 a.m. More information can be found on the Omaha Sports Academy website www.omahasportsacademy.com.
About the Iowa West Foundation
The Iowa West Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the Midwest. It has distributed more than $400 million to nonprofits and governmental agencies through southwest Iowa and eastern Nebraska since the inception of its grant program. Funding for the grants comes from investment earnings and the Iowa West Racing Association, which receives contractual fees from casino operators, Ameristar and Harrah’s. IWRA is the license sponsor for Ameristar and Harrah’s and the license holder for Horseshoe-Bluffs Run. The Foundation targets resources into programs and projects that focus on economic development, education, placemaking and healthy families.
About the Omaha Sports Academy
The mission of the Omaha Sports Academy is to provide a fun, athletic environment that promotes healthy competition and the development of positive life skills through quality instruction, service, and facilities. It is estimated that more than 12,000 people go through the doors at their various venues in the fall leagues and more than 15,000 per weekend in winter leagues. In addition to leagues, OSA also hosts 16-18 five on five tournaments per year, as well as a multitude of camps and clinics.