From crops to recreation: Bettplex set to expand


Lauren Anderson

The TBK Sports Complex, commonly packed with visitors, is set to expand across Middle Road with new sports facilities and commercial areas.

Lauren Anderson, Copy Editor

Over a million visitors were drawn to the TBK Sports Complex, commonly known as the Bettplex, in 2021 thanks to the extensive sport and recreational facilities available. The successful tourism has been undoubtedly beneficial to nearby businesses, and the overall prosperity of the area entails a massive expansion of the Bettplex. 

The current 75-acre property houses a 302,000 square foot complex with indoor soccer fields, an upstairs workout facility, endless court space and a gymnastics center. Outside, soccer and baseball fields span the property with restaurants and businesses nearby. 

Since its opening in 2018, the TBK Sports Complex has been a driving force in the popularity of the Bettendorf area. Shops have popped up all around the Bettplex as traveling families continue to bring in more business and expand the local economy. 

The massive expansion will be highlighted by an outdoor golf complex, an arcade with sports simulators, a new hotel, road construction at the intersection of Middle and Forest Grove, a pedestrian bridge from the west side to the east side of TBK Sports Complex and additional sports fields. The new facilities will lie east of Middle Road, and construction is planned to begin early this spring. 

Fifth Ward Alderman Scott Webster anticipates that the new golf complex will not only be a highlight for tourists, but will give community members a reason to visit the bustling area. “I think [the golf complex] is something that youth will be able to use. A place to hang out, to enjoy a weekend or a weekday night,” he said. “I think there’s not enough things in the community that teenagers and younger people can get excited about, and I think that’ll be one that they can.” 

Though the new expansion will likely have a positive impact on the continual growth of the community, the construction may cause a hassle for those who live in the area. Senior Campbell Wolfe said “it will take a lot longer to get places, and after the construction the roads by my house will start to be a lot busier.” While Wolfe feels the TBK complex addition will bring lots of jobs and revenue to the area, she worries about the increase in traffic. 

Webster agreed that traffic may cause a temporary problem as road construction and increased tourism infiltrate the area. “Hopefully the roads will help to solve that, but traffic will be the most major [issue], I think,” he said. The intersections surrounding the TBK Sports Complex are set to become roundabouts, which will expectantly reduce the impact of traffic in the area. 

The Fifth Ward Alderman also hopes the increase in tourism will result in a safer, updated interchange. “The good side of [the construction] is that we think it’s going to jumpstart the I-80 and Middle interchange of the interstate to get us a better on and off ramp.” He added that Gov. Kim Reynolds is all on board with this plan as she visited the area a few weeks ago. 

Although the construction may cause a transitory hassle, the city and nearby businesses are expected to greatly benefit from the expansion. “You’ll see this year we lowered the debt levy portion of our taxes by 15 cents, and part of that can be contributed back to the Bettplex,” Webster stated. “More people out there helps the neighboring businesses. I think there will be exciting new stuff coming in there.” 

Additional tax revenue in the area entails benefits to nearby schools, which is of utmost importance as the Pleasant Valley School District experiences rapid growth. Commercial properties bring substantial tax income to the city, allowing for reliable and consistent financing for school districts. 

“The more money that we’re bringing in from the outside, the more money that flows back to the community,” Webster stated. “Continued growth means continued tax dollars. Every time you see it expand, I think that we’ll see even more expansion there in the future.” 

The TBK Sports Complex expansion plans to bring in increased local business with its additional facilities, while also making the Bettplex a community hub for recreational activities. Officials are ecstatic for the community growth they predict and the subsequent increased tax revenue the city plans to bring in.