Amarillo Netplex & Rotary Park undergoes changes with new parking lot

The Amarillo Netplex and Rotary Park has been going through some changes, updating its facilities to allow growth in Amarillo youth sports. With facility changes, guests and visitors will also be noticing one other big change when it comes to parking. (ABC 7 Amarillo- Abby Aldrich)

The Amarillo Netplex and Rotary Park has been going through some changes, updating its facilities to allow growth in Amarillo youth sports. With facility changes, guests and visitors also will notice one big change when it comes to parking.

On weekends, visitors will now purchase $5 parking passes, good for an all day pass to park in the complex.

According to Jess Evers, owner and director of JET Volleyball Club, since the construction of the Amarillo Netplex, one of the biggest complaints received dealt with parking in the complex.

The Amarillo Netplex is a privately owned facility, owned by the nonprofit organization Goal Setters Inc. After years of trying to figure out a way to find the funds for an actual parking lot and other facility improvements, a loan was taken out. The parking fee, implemented April 20, will go toward paying off that parking lot, according to Evers.

"Just like with any business, we have to get a loan from the bank in order to pay for this," Evers said. "We are a privately owned facility, so we do not get ant kind of help from the government. We don't get any kind of help from grants [or] scholarships [and] we have no help from the City, so this is a privately owned situation where we have to find ways to get things done. So in this situation, we had to go to the bank and get a loan."

The parking fee will be required only for certain events. Evers tells ABC 7 News that the parking fee will not be applicable during the week.

Events where visitors will pay a $5 parking fee:

  • Weekend volleyball tournaments
  • Weekend basketball tournaments
  • Weekend baseball events
  • Other large events

Events where visitors DO NOT have to pay a $5 parking fee:

  • Weekly sport practices
  • Camps
  • Clinics

For those concerned with where their money is going, Evers explained the different organizations and events that will use the money provided from tournaments and league fees. Evers said that majority of the income coming to the Amarillo Netplex is from renters. These renters rely on the facility to run their programs and events.

Evers said to take volleyball, for example. For the volleyball clubs that rent out the Netplex for tournaments, the tournament entry fee that guests pay does not go to the Netplex, but to the organization that volleyball clubs are sanctioned under. She says only a portion of that money will go to the clubs.

The admission fee that guests will pay goes to the host club of that tournament.

The only income that will go to the Netplex is the rental fee that the host club will pay.

“[The Amarillo Netplex] is only open from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. It's a sport facility, so we've got to generate as much revenue as we can throughout the week and the weekend in order to keep the doors open," Evers said. "Its been a problem in Amarillo for years, nowhere for the kids to go play. No facility. This is a one-stop shop. We've got five basketball courts and 10 volleyball courts. Now we have a great parking lot. We're adding retail space. We're going to have a restaurant. We're just trying to do our best to make it the best situation possible for Amarillo."

Evers said the parking fee is a work in progress, with changes to potentially come in one and two day parking, rates for senior citizens and the military. She asks that the community remain patient as the details are worked out.

To pay the fee, there will be two ticket booths at the two main entrances to the complex. Evers said you will drive up, pay and receive some sort of parking tag that will be good for the entire day.

Johnna Pointer, owner and director of Hoop 10 Basketball, said the upgrades are helping to keep the Amarillo teams in the area, while bringing in a variety of teams from other states.

"One of the things I'm proud about is just what Netplex is bringing to our city," Pointer said. "Before we had Netplex, many of our club teams were leaving Amarillo to travel to find tournaments for their teams and with us having a large facility now, we can bring those teams to Amarillo. Volleyball is just finishing a tremendous season and Hoop 10 is just starting their basketball tournaments, but we've already been able to bring in teams from Kansas, Colorado, New Mexico [and] Oklahoma. So two things are happening: our teams are not having to travel and leave the city and then we're bringing teams into the city. Positive things are happening there within our city: the economic impact and on our team and our families not having to have the expense of leaving and travelling."

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