MADISON — St. Dominic Health Services is preparing to start construction on a sports complex in Madison as it deals with a legal dispute involving a former partner.
Chris Snopek, owner of Performance Sports Academy, alleges in a lawsuit that he shared his confidential thoughts, preliminary design and plans with St. Dominic over a project involving the same land.
The Clarion-Ledger reports Snopek claims to have a valid letter of intent signed in 2007 to partner with the hospital.
St. Dominic says the letter of intent with Snopek expired in February 2008 and no extension or other agreement was signed.
St. Dominic announced in September of 2011 a deal with D1 Sports Holdings, LLC to construct a 20,000-square-foot athletic training facility on the land once proposed for the project with Snopek.
St. Dominic’s spokesman Paul Arrington said the hospital purchased the land and made substantial efforts to bring the project with Snopek to fruition. But the hospital said it was Snopek who didn’t do his part to bring the project to a successful conclusion by not completing the deal for the land.
“Clearly, Chris Snopek is not the first individual to create the idea of a sport agility training complex,” St. Dominic’s attorney Ed Brunini Jr. said. “For example, D1 Sports has had vast experience over many years in developing such state-of-the-art sports and agility training complexes across the country.”
D1 Sports Performance and St. Dominic’s will partner to operate the training center for athletes ages 8 and up. D1, based in Franklin, Tenn., operates 13 such facilities.
Snopek said St. Dominic took advantage of him. He said St. Dominic told him it could get a better deal on the land if he allowed the hospital to make the purchase.
“He was basically kicked out of his own project,” Snopek’s attorney, Terris Harris, said.
Snopek is seeking unspecified damages.
Snopek played 10 years of professional baseball with the Chicago White Sox and the Boston Red Sox. He returned to Mississippi and opened Performance Sports Academy.
Madison officials approved plans for the first phase — a performance sports training facility and three community ball fields.
No trial date has been set for the lawsuit.