The Alachua County Commission on Tuesday voted unanimously in favor of the construction of a new sports complex in Celebration Pointe.
Planning and discussion of the complex has been ongoing since 2018. The complex will host a variety of sports, including track and field, soccer, and archery as well as act as a community center for events.
Commissioner Ken Cornell is hoping that the building brings more sports fans to the region, a region already known for sports.
“It’s a multipurpose event center, so it’s primarily for indoor track, indoor basketball, archery, and gymnastics,” he said.
Alachua County’s Strategic Initiatives Manager, Sean McLendon, is excited about the economic opportunity the new sports complex will bring to the area. The county is using revenue from the bed tax on hotel stays to finance the $30 million dollar commitment.
“We estimate a facility this size based upon independent consultants that’s reviewed it, it could generate at least a billion dollars in economic output. $392 million dollars in wages and nearly $24 million in county sales tax and related tourism and development taxes,” McLendon said.
The land for the building was donated by Celebration Pointe to the county after the county identified the location to be suitable. Ralph Conti, developer and partner with Celebration Pointe, compares the benefits of having the complex to an anchor store in a shopping center.
“To sponsor this project, Celebration Pointe Holdings felt like this was a good business decision” he said.
Conti states that retail stores will also be on the first floor of the sports complex. Construction of the new sports complex is expected to begin in September with an estimated completion date of early 2023.