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Manteca paves way to expand BLD complex
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Manteca’s leaders tonight will decide on tentative parcel maps that not only will help clear the way for a destination resort hotel, indoor waterpark, and conference center but sets aside significant land for expanding the Big League Dreams sports complex.
 The City Council will consider a tentative parcel map, master plan and environmental impact report addendum for the 210.7-acre family entertainment zone when they meet tonight at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.
The city-owned land is part of the wastewater treatment plant complex. It is sandwiched between Costco/Big League Dreams, the treatment plant, McKinley Avenue and the 120 Bypass.
As it stands now the FEZ could generate 360,000 square feet of retail and dining space — roughly the size of the Mission Ridge Shopping Center on South Main Street that’s anchored by Walmart, Safeway, and the Burlington Coat Factory.
Some 62 acres are being set aside for possible indoor and outdoor recreation/entertainment uses including an outdoor stadium. That number could be reduced if the firm McWhinney development is negotiating with ultimately wants double the 30 acers set aside for the resort component.
There are 25 acres targeted for the BLD expansion and soccer fields. The existing BLD complex is 28 acres with six playing fields, an indoor soccer complex, and two restaurants.
The fields, just like BLD, are envisioned to be operated and games booked by a private sector partner. And just like the BLD fields, the multi-use fields would be available for free use by the public weekdays before 4:30 p.m.
The heart of the FEZ would be a manmade lake. The EIR notes that is the preferred option for an area that would otherwise end up being used as a storm retention basin.
The city is hoping to encourage private sector partners to offer activities such as miniature golf, family arcade games, laser tag, and ball crawl. Significant facilities could include a rock climbing wall, ropes course, zip line, and a flow-ride facility that creates waves for surfing and similar uses employing boards.
The sports portion may also include an indoor arena designed for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics and cheerleading competition.
Other sports envisioned include a BMX track, a race course for mini-electric race cars, and a hard surface skate park.