Games News

New indoor sports facility “game-changer” for Panama City Beach

New indoor sports facility “game-changer” for Panama City Beach

PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – A new $41 million indoor sports facility is set to be a “game-changer” for sports in Panama City Beach.

“It’s going to be new, exciting indoor sports that haven’t been hosted here in the destination will get to come,” Visit Panama City Beach Public Relations Manager Lacee Rudd said.

This facility will host indoor sports like basketball and volleyball tournaments, gymnastics meets, competitive cheer competitions, and wrestling.

“Basketball is a big-time activity. There’s a lot of youth and travel teams that play basketball,” Publix Sports Park general manager Mike Higgins said.

It will also be a multi-purpose building that will be able to host other events.

“We’ll be able to have meetings, conferences, and exhibits as well in this,” said Rudd. “It’s also going to be a facility that the Navy base and the Air Force base can use to hold classified briefings and research and development meetings that they currently don’t have right now.”

Publix Sports Park officials said the proximity of the indoor facility next to the outdoor facility makes it efficient…

“You don’t have to go much further than coming out here tonight or any other night during the week to see local soccer teams, local baseball teams, high school baseball that use this (outdoor) facility. That’ll be the same for the indoor (facility),” said Higgins.

Good for local sports, but they also hope it’s a win for the economy.

“We’ve seen the success from our outdoor Publix Sports Park and the numbers that they bring in during our off-shoulder season,” said Rudd.

While there’s no exact number yet for how much money this indoor facility is expected to bring in, they’re still expecting the same success.

“We know that when we do implement this indoor sports facility, that it’s only going to increase those numbers while we host tournaments through August, December, January, February, March, those months that need the small pick up to bring visitation during the off-shoulder season,” said Rudd.

The indoor sports complex will also double as an emergency operations center to help with post-disaster response times.

It will be located in this empty lot across the street from the Publix Sports Park and next to Walsingham Academy. Officials say they expect to break ground on the indoor athletic facility later this year and it’ll take approximately 18 months to complete.

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