Plans are in motion for Myrtle Beach indoor sports complex - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Plans are in motion for Myrtle Beach indoor sports complex

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MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Sports tourism is happening in Myrtle Beach after the city council decided on Tuesday to give the final approval to build the $12 million indoor sports complex. 

Mayor John Rhodes applauds the council, saying it showed vision on their part. 

It was also smart financially since the state gave the city $7 million back in 2005 to develop 40 acres of land, and Mayor Rhodes said the city was running out of time to use the money. 

"We either had to pay the state back which was $12 million counting the interest. If we pay the state back all we're going to have is grass growing or do we make a $12 million investment that's going to help the economy," explains Rhodes. 

Now plans are moving forward with the city manager to have him look for architects for the job. 

The project is complete with eight basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, a rock climbing wall, a concessions area and 400 parking spots. All elements are expected to be housed somewhere near, and around the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. 

Paul Edwards, the General Manager of the Convention Center said where ever the complex is placed will need to be thought out. "We have to really be careful logistically where we place this facility. We don't want it to interfere with any future expansion of the Convention Center space."

Edwards said he would like it to be fairly close to the center, within at least five minutes walking distance. 

For now though, both Mayor Rhodes and Edwards will be planning for future events to have inside the new complex. 

"We're looking to move things around to create more dates in the calendar to bring in more convention and trade show type of events," said Edwards. 

Mayor Rhodes said leaders will be getting the word out to event organizers in the eastern part of the country to generate interest and excitement over the complex. 

Ground for the new indoor sports complex is set to be broke in February 2014 with a grand opening expected for February 2015. 

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