PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla., July 1, 2015 - Today, representatives from Visit Panama City Beach, St. Joe Company and the Bay County School Board announced details on a public-private partnership to bring a world-class sports village and k-8 school to the destination. Intended to bring more sports visitors to Panama City Beach in the spring and fall months, the project will attract large-scale tournaments for rectangle field sports, such as soccer, lacrosse, rugby and football.
"Sports have become a major part of the Panama City Beach experience and our scenic coastal setting is a natural draw for athletes and fans alike from across the country," shares Visit Panama City Beach President and CEO Dan Rowe. "Anchored by the generosity of the St. Joe Company and our commitment to developing and marketing a world-class sports village, this is a day to celebrate a bright future for Panama City Beach tourism."
Subject to negotiation and execution of a partnership agreement, approximately 210 acres of land on the east end of Breakfast Point will be donated by St. Joe Company and a 10-acre tract of land at 8222 Panama City Beach Parkway has been purchased by the CVB utilizing tourist development tax funds and funds received from BP damages. The tract will provide easy access from Panama City Beach Parkway/Highway 98 to the donated parcel. In addition to the sports village, a kindergarten through eighth grade public school will be built on the land providing added classroom capacity to the growing youth population.
"This is an exemplary partnership, which is of great benefit to our students, parents and community," says Bay County School Board Superintendent Bill Husfelt. "We welcome this multi-faceted plan that offers solutions to address concerns brought on by tremendous growth on Panama City Beach. This also allows us all to multiply the utilization of our tax dollars. Our thanks to the St. Joe Company for many years of support for Bay District Schools and for including us with the Panama City Beach CVB in this exciting project."
The first phase of the multimillion-dollar project will focus on rectangle fields for competitions such as lacrosse, soccer and flag football. Designs of the village include concession areas and tournament headquarters facilities. Several fields at the complex will have multipurpose capabilities for hosting full size baseball and softball as well as showcase fields for tournament final games. Lead designer The Sports Force will oversee the development and construction of the project and is adding nature and fitness trails to complement the village.
"Events such as major softball and baseball tournaments bring in hundreds of teams to the region, and this facility with rectangle fields will attract even more large competitions," shares Richard Sanders, vice president of sports marketing for Visit Panama City Beach. "The new sports village is a cornerstone to increasing year round business for hotels, restaurants and attractions - a home run for the entire community."
More information on this project and answers to FAQs can be found at www.visitpanamacitybeach.org
For information on Panama City Beach, call 1-800-PCBEACH or visit the official website of the Panama City Beach CVB at http://www.visitpanamacitybeach.com.
Aerial image of sports village location: https://www.hightail.com/download/bXBacHBPcTJ5UkY3czlVag