TDC moves forward with $40M indoor sports complex plans
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TDC moves forward with $40M indoor sports complex plans

BAY COUNTY Fla. (WMBB) – Plans to build an indoor sports complex in Panama City Beach are moving to the next level. 

The Tourist Development Council met Friday morning to approve an agreement with Sports Facilities Companies to help manage the project.

Bay County Tourist Development Council Executive Director Dan Rowe said a partnership with SFC will help speed up the process.

“These are the guys that are managing the Publix Sports Park, these are the guys that have helped us up until this point in time on some of the initial planning the components with inside the indoor sports center,” Rowe said. 

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This will be a $40 million project funded using various grants from FEMA, the Housing and Urban Development Department, possible Triumph Gulf Coast grants, and TDC dollars. 

Rowe said they are at the beginning of the design process. 

This phase will help determine what is necessary to include to make the building functional. 

“From a tourism standpoint it will allow us to be able to host indoor sporting events whether it is basketball tournaments, volleyball tournaments, gymnastics meets, we can use it for pickleball,” Rowe said. 

The new indoor sports complex will be located in the empty lot right next to Gary Walsingham Academy and across the street from the Publix Sports Park.

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Rowe said the complex will also have emergency management capabilities.

That way it can be used as a safe room during a storm and a shelter for residents in the aftermath.   

TDC Chairman Steve Bailey said the center will also be a huge economic boost for the area. He hopes the trend of Panama City Beach becoming a year-round destination will continue. 

“It is going to complement our shoulder seasons to allow us to bring in more indoor sports,” Bailey said. “Volleyball, basketball, and all types of indoor sports that really play a role in the shoulder season when we’re not as busy and we can help bring some economic impact to the destination.”

Since they are just starting the design process, Rowe said he does not anticipate construction to start for another two to three years.