Pima County Board of Supervisors Approves Leases for Mosaic Quarter

The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to approve the first phase of leases for Mosaic Quarter, a sports and entertainment complex that will generate billions of dollars and support tens of thousands of jobs over the 40-year term of the master lease.

Mosaic Quarter is part of Kino Sports Complex South, which is on the south side of Interstate 10 between Benson Highway and Country Club Road. The 90-acre facility will be adjacent to the Kino Sports Complex on the north side of Interstate 10. Mosaic Quarter Phase 1 will focus on the 175,000-square-foot MQ Iceplex, the 131,000-square-foot MQ Field House, and a central utility plant and solar power for the complex.

“The approval of the Mosaic Quarter Phase 1 leases is a giant first step in the creation of possibly one of the most important drivers of economic prosperity in Pima County,” said Pima County Board of Supervisors Chair Adelita S. Grijalva. “Once completed, the Mosaic Quarter, in collaboration with the Kino Sports Complex, will place Pima County squarely at the top of the list of tournament sports and entertainment complexes across the country. Mosaic Quarter addresses the importance of access for our community’s young people to high-quality facilities and youth sports that families currently must travel to Phoenix or out of state to enjoy.”

Once completed, Mosaic Quarter Phase 1 is projected to generate $8.3 billion of new local spending in addition to $917.7 million in tax revenue for the State of Arizona, City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority.   

“We are grateful for Pima County’s support,” said Knott Development CEO Frank Knott.  “The County clearly sees the benefits to the community and shares our vision for socioeconomic success and workforce development. From local youth sports and athletics to national tournaments, lifestyle and entertainment venues and hospitality, Mosaic Quarter supports small and large businesses, travel and tourism and more.”  

Project Amenities Highlights

Phase 1

  • MQ Iceplex 3-rink sports complex
  • MQ Multiuse Field House multisport facility
  • Up to four restaurants
  • Central Utility Plant and solar farm

Future Phases

  • MQ Sportsplex multisport facility
  • MQ Stadium
  • Entertainment Pavilion
  • Event Plaza
  • Splashpads
  • Three hotels and up to 10 restaurants
  • Parking structure

Deputy County Administrator Carmine DeBonis Jr., who crafted the agreement with Knott Development, said the Mosaic Quarter public-private partnership protects the County from financial harm if the region were to suffer from economic calamities in the future. The County will receive 55 percent of the project’s cash flow. The county’s portion, estimated at $6 million a year, will be held in a reserve fund. That fund will grow to more than $199 million over the term of the lease to safeguard the County’s financial stability, DeBonis said.

“We ran this deal past the credit rating agencies, and they determined that entering into the leases for construction of the project would not affect the county’s credit ratings,” DeBonis said. “Pima County’s credit ratings range from AA+ to AAA.”

Phase 1 Economic Impact Highlights 

  • $8.3 billion new local spending
  • $917.7 million tax revenue across state, region, city
  • 92,300 community jobs supported
  • $3.7 billion community earnings from those jobs

“Today is a very exciting day for the residents of Pima County,” said County Administrator Jan Lesher. “Mosaic Quarter at completion will provide hundreds of new jobs and, when combined with the Tucson’s nearby Bridges development, will make the I-10 corridor between I-19 and Country Club Road one of the largest employment centers in metropolitan Tucson. I look forward to the continued partnership between the County and Knott Development in helping economically invigorate the area surrounding the Kino Sports Complex.”

Lesher said Tuesday’s vote was years in the making. The county acquired the 160-acre property in 2014. The county opened Kino Sports Complex South, which features soccer fields and pickleball courts in 2020 and sought proposals for building out the remainder of the site that same year. Knott Development was selected for the master development partnership agreement in 2021.

A key aspect of the project is the Mosaic Foundation, a nonprofit that will partner with numerous local groups and organizations.

“Through our community partnerships and Mosaic Foundation, we will be able to serve youth who come from all backgrounds and populations, ensuring access to sports and athletics for all,” Knott said.

The project has broad community support. Numerous sports and business organizations sent statements of support and about 10 people addressed the board during Call to the Audience expressing their support.

Summary of Community Support Statements:

Danny Plattner, Co-Founder & Operator, Tucson Adult Hockey League

  • “The Mosaic Foundation’s vision of including all children to participate in sports regardless of economic standing is remarkable. It will have a positive effect on generations of Pima County children, and their parents, for years to come.”

Linda Welter, Chair of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce

  • The numbers that benefit Pima County are staggering. This project represents a transformational opportunity for Pima County and its residents.

David A. Perks, Vice President, First Tee of Tucson

  • “Our community severely lacks sports complexes and amenities for youth sports. The Mosaic Quarter would fill a large void for Tucson.”

Troy Vaughn, Senior Director Campus Recreation, University of Arizona

  • “A game changer for this community. We plan on having four to five hockey teams at Mosaic Quarter, including a brand-new Women’s Hockey Club Team that we will be starting when the facility is completed in the fall of 2026.”

Robert Elias, President & CEO, Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

  • “This initiative is more than just a development; it is a transformative endeavor that will reshape the landscape of this part of our city. This project is about fostering a sense identity and pride as we welcome teams and spectators, we also welcome diversity, creating a mosaic of culture and experiences.”

Brad Anderson, President & CEO, Vail Chamber of Commerce

  • “We see lots of opportunity for what Mosaic Quarter can provide to the entire region.”

A planned Arizona Department of Transportation project to widen I-10 where Mosaic Quarter and Kino are located will include a connection between the two complexes that will allow for shuttle and pedestrian traffic to travel between the two sites. This connection will allow Mosaic Quarter and Kino to operate as one facility when needed to host large tournament events while consolidating visitor amenities.

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