MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Construction was underway Monday on the new indoor sports complex coming to Myrtle Beach. The complex is already booking events scheduled as soon as March 2015.
Mark Kruea, spokesman for the City of Myrtle Beach says the 100,000 square foot facility is being built in an effort to attract more indoor sporting events like basketball, cheerleading and volleyball.
The new facility will be able to hold eight basketball games, or 16 volleyball games at one time. Already there are 20 events booked in each of the above events, plus twirling and dance.
The Myrtle Beach Sports Center will be adjacent to the existing Myrtle Beach Convention Center. A new parking lot is being constructed to hold an additional 500 vehicles in its lot. For visiting teams and players, the Myrtle Beach Sports Center will also feature a café and retail area.
City officials hope an indoor tournament facility will round out Myrtle Beach's sports tourism scene. "We hope this facility will do just as well on the inside, which will give us the inside piece of our sports tourism opportunities," Kruea says.
The estimated cost of the facility is at about $13 million, a high price certainly. But, in just it's first year alone, the complex is expected to generate about $7 million in direct visitor spending- over half the estimated cost to build it.
By year five, a the city says the complex will generate about $28.5 million annually. Plus, the goal is for about two-thirds of the additional visitor revenue to be generated outside the peak summer tourism season, bringing an additional boost to the economy during a slower time.