Ice in the desert is on the way for the area, now that Pima County has approved a lease for the first phase of a new regional sports complex that will include ice hockey.

Businesses see the project as a way to score from a new surge of customers.

In the world of sports, the vacant land adjacent to the Kino Sports Complex is its own kind of playing field. Pima County has taken a major step towards building a large sports and entertainment complex there designed to attract business from all over the region.

Pima County owns the land. Now that Pima Supervisors approved a lease for the land that will hold phase one of the complex called Mosaic Quarter that green lights the start of construction.

The first phase includes a three rink ice plex, a field house good for a variety of sports, and up to four restaurants.

Plans call for even more sports and entertainment attractions to come.

An experienced sports development company called Knott Development is building the project with a mind towards making it a place for local residents to enjoy day to day, and attract large regional sports tournaments that should pour more money into the local economy.

The fiscal forecast predicts $8.3 Billion dollars of new spending and more than 917 million dollars worth of tax revenue for the State, the City of Tucson and the Regional Transportation Authority. The project website projects that over 40 years.

The Silver Saddle Steakhouse is right on I-10an ideal location to pull in regional business from traveling teams.

Mario Alva and his family already see the nearby Kino Sports complex bring in plenty of teams hungry for a juicy steak and say Mosaic Quarter should bring in still more.

I mean, just this weekend, there was soccer, baseball, softball. We’ve seen kids come in and wear their soccer uniforms, softball uniforms, baseball uniforms, and we love it. It’s awesome.

A spokesperson for the developer says the lease agreement should let builders break ground fairly soon with Phase One ready to play in about two years.