Sports Complex General Info

Amenities
The Fountain Bluff Sports Complex opened in June 2002 and was financed by the Liberty 2000 and Liberty 2010 Capital Improvements program. The total construction cost of the project is $6.8 million. This multi-million dollar facility offers various sporting events on the 146-acre site.

Fountain Bluff Sports Complex offers various amenities not seen in most facilities. The site has 8 ponds that are used to irrigate the fields. The complex also provides more than 2 miles of walking/jogging trails to the public as well as playgrounds and concession stands. Various historical markers are placed throughout the site commemorating past events that have taken place on the site.

Sports Complex Site Development & Construction
The master plan for the entire site provides for the development of 21 fields, an indoor recreation center, walking/jogging trails, restrooms, concessions, administrative building, 8 ponds, paved parking lots and a clock tower plaza area as a central gathering point, upon final build out.
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The design of the master plan involved a public process using community “stake holders” to provide input. HNTB Corporation designed the facility.

The first phase of the construction included the development of the William S. Mann Administrative/Maintenance building, 2 restroom/concession buildings, a shelter and restroom facility adjacent to the soccer fields, playgrounds, over 2 1/4 miles of walking/jogging trails, eight baseball softball fields, 1 championship baseball field and 6 soccer fields.

All of the athletic fields are irrigated from the detention ponds. A water well located on site serves as the water source for the ponds. All of the ponds are interconnected to control the pond levels and handle storm water. Eventually, all eight of the ponds will have fountains. The ponds are also landscaped with water plantings to provide erosion control as well as a safety barrier from the water. The City staff is working with the Missouri Department of Conservation for proper care of the ponds to establish a proper ecological system.

Sports lighting is equipped on 12 of the 15 athletic fields, including 3 of the soccer fields. All of the baseball/softball fields have scoreboards, covered dugouts, warning tracks, irrigation on the infields and outfields, yellow fence cap and much, much more. All fields are 300 feet from home plate to the outfield fence; however, with the use of portable fence for all fields we can change the field dimensions to be age appropriate (250 feet and 200 feet). The 6 soccer fields are regulation size and have irrigation, spectator bleachers and player benches. The original scoreboards for all of the fields were provided by a donation from Pepsi-Cola General Bottlers. They have since been replaced with newer models.

The Fountain Bluff Sports Complex hosts several state, regional and national tournaments for various sports each year. Adult and youth leagues are played each night of the week throughout the season.

History of the Sports Complex Site
The Fountain Bluff Sports Complex site is rich in local history and heritage, with ties to events such as the Lewis and Clark expedition, the Liberty Landing, the Mormon Trail and a World War II prisoner of war camp.

In 1804-1806, captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark led an estimated 40 soldiers and boatmen on an epic journey across the United States. Commissioned by President Thomas Jefferson, their charge was to find a route to the Pacific Ocean through the newly acquired Louisiana territory. Along the way, Lewis and Clark also mapped the land’s geography, recorded its resources, and contacted its native inhabitants. As recorded in the archives of their travels, the Liberty area was traveled through and recorded by the Lewis and Clark “Corp of Discovery” team. The bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark Trail expedition will occur in the years 2004-2006. In recognition of the bicentennial, the City of Liberty will participate in a statewide Lewis and Clark Interpretive Sign Program, with the sign being placed at the new Fountain Bluff Sports Complex.

The Liberty Landing was located along the Missouri River, just east of the new sports complex off 291 Hwy. The Liberty Landing contributed to much of the industrial and residential growth in this area during the early 1800s. During the 1830s, the Liberty Landing brought local prosperity from the regular steamboat trips from St. Louis and other points from the east, which carried merchandise and early settlers. The steamboats would fire a cannon when they were several miles away from Liberty in order to give merchants and the town’s people time to reach the dock before the boat arrived. During this decade, as many as five “steamers” would move up the river daily and at least one would dock at the Liberty Landing. Some of the boats served as floating hotels, offering richly appointed accommodations. The steamboat business and means of travel continued into the early 1900s.

From the late 1840s through the 1860s, an exodus of more than 70,000 Mormons passed through on their way to their “New Zion” in Salt Lake City, Utah. Starting from Nauvoo, Illinois, the Mormon Trail passed through many states along their journey to Utah. Today, a 1,624-mile auto tour route closely parallels their historic trek.

From 1943 to 1945 during World War II, a German prisoner of war camp was set up at the turkey farm, located west of the Mann farm on old 210 Hwy. The Miller family owned the land. The large Desert Gold grain silos still stand in this location. The prisoners stayed in turkey laying houses that were adapted for living quarters. Approximately 600 prisoners were housed in this location. The prisoners were transported to area farms, including the Mann potato farm, to work and produce crops for the local economy and war effort.

The “Mann Potato Farm” was known throughout the Midwest and much of the United States for its potato crops. Potato farming was somewhat unusual for this area, but was made successful from Orrick to Liberty by the Mann family. Ron and Martha Wellington previously owned the land where the Fountain Bluff Sports Complex is now located. Martha Wellington is the daughter of the deceased William S. and Dorothy Mann, who owned and farmed the land in potatoes since the early 1930s. The Fountain Bluff Sports Complex Administrative Building is named after William S. Mann.