PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. - The Panama City Beach Sports Park has been in the works for the last two years, and is expected to attract thousands of visitors to the Beach for soccer, baseball, and lacrosse tournaments.
After a lengthy discussion at Tuesday's meeting, the TDC agreed on a price of $37,448,500 to pay Phoenix Construction to build it.
The price was initially anticipated to be around $35 million, but TDC President, Dan Rowe, said they want to make sure the sports park is state of the art.
"It includes the development of 13 fields, all the support buildings around those fields, and an entrance road into the sports park off back beach road," he said.
Two Board members, Yonnie Patronis and David Chapman, were against the increased price tag, but the costs also includes $440,000 for the utilities to be buried underground from the start, which Rowe said was a priority for the other board members.
"There was a lot of discussion today making sure that this sports park, the entrance to it, is first class from the first day," he said.
Bay District Schools and St. Joe Company will pay $2.8 million of the construction costs, and the TDC is asking the Bay County Commission for a loan to cover the rest.
Rowe said the loan will be completely repaid by tourists.
"No public money from the general funds will be used to finance, or build, or construct the sports park, it's all coming out of the Tourist Development tax," he said.
The TDC will go to the Bay County Commission meeting on March 7 to get the final 'OK.'
If the commission approves the TDC's request for the loan, construction could begin as soon as next month.
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