Panama City Beach (Florida) Sports Park & Stadium Complex, long on the drawing the board, gained final approval earlier this month. It should be up and running in 2019.
The Bay County Commission’s official backing means construction on the facility can begin. Once completed, it the venue will host 13 fields—eight for soccer, football, rugby and lacrosse; and five college-sized baseball and softball diamonds.
“Panama City Beach, known for world-class beaches, southern hospitality and just being a lot of fun, crossed an important milestone with the approval of its new sports park,” says Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe. “We look forward to welcoming additional tournaments with athletes from across the country to compete and enjoy all that our destination has to offer.”
Because of the popularity of baseball and softball, the destination is at capacity between May and July, says Chris O’Brien, CSEE, director of sports marketing and special events at Visit Panama City Beach.
The ability to draw national and regional soccer and lacrosse events will boost the spring and fall months. With 16,000 hotel room nights, the city is ready to host most major tournaments, O’Brien notes.
Panama City Beach already draws more than 100,000 visitors from sports tourism, generating $75 million in economic impact.