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Principals in the St. Croix Sports Coliseum complex are from the left are Steve and Sabrina Jerlow, Cassandra Boumeester, Christopher Spafford, JW Matheson, John Knutson and Ed Hendricks. They are standing in front of the former Outpost building. (Submitted photo)

Hudson business people to build sports complex at Exit 4

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Hudson business people to build sports complex at Exit 4
River Falls Wisconsin 2815 Prairie Drive / P.O. Box 25 54022

The St. Croix Sports Coliseum concept came together from the simple idea of providing more facilities for area athletes and teams, to help meet the demands for practice and training of the players, while being a community based and family friendly place. The partners who believe they have figured out how to make it a reality are Ed Hendricks, John Knutson and JW Matheson.

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Phase 1 of the project will be to renovate the existing building formerly known as The Outpost at I-94 and Exit 4 in Hudson to accommodate Catalyst Sports Medicine's Physical Therapy practice and include a new health and fitness club called Midwest Health & Fitness.

Phase 1A, expected to start simultaneously, will be the construction of an additional 60,000 square feet of new facilities. When combined with the existing building the complex will total nearly 73,000 square feet on 16.5 acres of land. The new construction will house Catalyst Performance Training, indoor turf training space and hard court space that will include four full-sized basketball or volleyball courts.  In addition to the training and game space, the facilities will include offices, meeting/conference rooms, concessions, changing and locker rooms. Additionally, a retail space is planned for fan gear and sporting goods sales, which the coliseum will either own or possibly lease to an interested and experienced business partner to own and manage.

Phase 2 for the group, which is already in discussion, may include mini or studio indoor ice rinks and dedicated space for hockey training. In addition, a restaurant is being considered. Plans are also in the works to develop the outdoor acreage to include walking paths, basketball and tennis courts, batting cages, outdoor hockey rink, endurance challenge and obstacle race courses, snowshoeing and more. Green space is also being planned for athletic fields.

Hendricks, 46, attended UW-La Crosse and is a former Best Buy executive who started with the organization during college, worked his way up through the company and spent his last ten years as an executive overseeing sales, operations, and service. He was able to retire at 39, after nearly 20 years, and has been a local entrepreneur and investor over the last seven years. Hendricks and his wife Lori have three children; a son, Garrett, 15, and twin daughters Sydney and Kennedy, 12, who attend school in Hudson.

Hendricks, who has always been passionate and loved sports, excelled in high school and played college athletics himself said, "It's been a dream of mine for years to create a facility that would allow my kids and other kids in the community to have a place where they could practice or play their favorite sports year round. I have talked to many people over the years about collaborating to build a bigger facility that could be more community based, but until meeting John and JW from Catalyst Sports Medicine, I hadn't found the right fit to be able to pull the trigger. Now we have."

Hendricks met Knutson and Matheson when his kids wanted to start performance athletic training and started coming into Catalyst Sports Medicine to begin their APEX performance training.

Knutson and Matheson bought the former Larsen Sports Medicine Clinic on Jan. 1, 2013, and have been expanding and growing ever since.

Knutson is a long-time Hudsonite and businessman, who along with wife Rose came to Hudson in 1988 to start RPG, a graphic design and printing firm. After 23 years in business with Eric Strand, Knutson became president of RESCO and helped to grow that company to 105 employees. Knutson sold his interest in RESCO in August of 2011 and started working with Rich Larsen of Larsen Sports Medicine and Physical Therapy. Knutson was named the general manager of both the Roberts and Hudson clinics. In 2012, Larsen accepted a position at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. Knutson as the CEO, along with clinic director JW Matheson purchased the business and changed the name to Catalyst Sports Medicine.

Regarding the new coliseum alliance and dramatic expansion with Hendricks, Knutson says, "I have been in Hudson for nearly 25 years, and in that time, I have known or heard of many individuals and groups who have talked about building a sports complex, and to date no one has been able to put together a plan to make it happen.  Most have been well intentioned, but eventually gave up because they couldn't find a perfect, much less an acceptable, location for size, visibility, accessibility, growth and expansion. Another major reason includes trying to figure out how to be financially viable due to the enormous expenses, all while trying to keep rates reasonable for the participants."

Matheson is the current president and clinic director at Catalyst Sports Medicine. He is a 1996 graduate of the Mayo Clinic of Health Sciences and a 2001 graduate of the first public APTA Credentialed Sports Physical Therapy residency at Gundersen-Lutheran Sports Medicine in Onalaska.  He completed his transitional DPT degree from the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions in 2005 and expects to complete a Ph.D. in physical therapy at Nova Southeastern University in 2014. Matheson started working in Hudson in 2008 as the senior physical therapist and the director of physical therapy.

Matheson says, "I'm very excited to be part of the coliseum project. Our sports medicine practice provides an outstanding level of evidence informed care, not only to athletes but anyone needing help with musculoskeletal issues. In addition to clients who come see us first, as a private independent practice, we collaborate with many of the local providers. Our goal is to always exceed client's expectations and to get them better, faster."

The reason the three partners believe they have a sustainable plan, different than others who have tried in the past, is their approach. Knutson says, "We know what hasn't worked in some communities where they build a 'brass and marble' type facility, under estimate expenses, and hope to get busy renting enough time to cover their costs and find that the peak time usage simply isn't enough."

The new ownership group felt that after the purchase of the old Outpost building and 16.5 acres of land outright, the business plan would be to find anchor tenants who would all share similar business philosophies, and through synergy, be mutually beneficial for the facility. The ability to have anchor tenants within the coliseum facility helps to minimize the risk while maximizing the potential for the long-term success of the facility.

Catalyst Sports Medicine will occupy about 4,500 square feet of the former Outpost building to provide physical therapy. Then under the direction of Hendricks, Catalyst Performance Training will occupy another 5,000 square feet in the new buildings, to expand their space and services with the growing demand of the local athletes, to accomplish their sport specific goals and help them succeed. According to Hendricks "We specialize in getting athletes bigger, stronger and faster in order to excel in their specific sports."

The other tenant in the Coliseum is Midwest Health & Fitness; a new health club and gym that will be coming into the facility to occupy about 11,500 square feet.  Midwest Health & Fitness is a collaboration between business partners Sabrina and Steve Jerlow and fitness trainer, Chris Spafford.

J. Steve Jerlow is a long-standing business owner in the Western Wisconsin area as owner operator with business partner Bob Michels, of Bob and Steve's BP Shops. With over 38 years of business experience managing operations of 31 BP sites, he provides a solid business leadership role in the oversight of Midwest Health and Fitness.

Sabrina has her associates degree in Supervisory Management, and is PHR (professional in Human Resource) through SHRM, the Society for Human Resource Management. She previously managed a liquor store in New Richmond for 10 years. For the past 11 years she has been employed by St. Croix Tree Service in Roberts.

Christopher Spafford, 27, who will be a business partner and the head trainer for Midwest Health & Fitness within the coliseum complex, is local to the Hudson area along with his fiancee Cassandra Boumeester. He has been a certified personal trainer for seven years and is certified through ISSA, the International Sports and Science Association, as a: personal trainer, nutritionist, sports nutritionist and strength & conditioning specialist. He is also a certified kettle bell instructor through AFPA, and a certified Spin instructor from NASM. He has worked as a trainer/class instructor in the Hudson area.

In addition to the tenants providing their respective services, the coliseum will also have a 17,000 square feet indoor turf space. The turf will specifically be used for training and small sided or youth game space for soccer, football, lacrosse, baseball, softball and more, including netting for batting cages. The gymnasium space is even larger, and will contain four full-sized basketball or six volleyball courts, so it can be used for practice, clinics, games, tournaments, leagues, and also other sports including wrestling, gymnastics and more.

Hendricks commented, "We haven't even gone public with the final plans, and we're amazed by the excitement in the community. We field calls and inquiries almost every day from people wondering about the scope of our project, as well as those who have new ideas they would like us to consider. Those ideas have included everything from swimming pools, to curling, to an indoor simulated archery range."

Knutson says, "We're happy to talk to individuals and businesses who have ideas for us to consider, which would add even more value to the complex and the community. Again, our focus is on a family friendly and community based facility,that can be sustainable and successful."

For more information on the St. Croix Sports Coliseum project, call Ed Hendricks at (651) 336-7260 or email edhendricks@frontiernet.net; John Knutson at (651) 210-7858 or email jknutson@catalystsportsmedicine.com.

For more information on Catalyst Sports Medicine, call JW Matheson at (952) 807-6877 or email jwmatheson@catalystsportsmedicine.com.

For more information on Midwest Health & Fitness, call Sabrina Jerlow at (715) 690-2565 or email sjerlow@midwesthealthandfitness.com; Chris Spafford at (715) 690-2565 or e-mail cspafford@midwesthealthandfitness.com.

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