MB Sports Center wants to help local businesses cash in on sports tourism

MB Sports Center wants to help local businesses cash in on sports tourism

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - Momentum is building for new business: the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center is scheduled to open in four months.

If you take a look at the sign on the fence in front of the construction site for the sports center it says "We're upping our game, so bring yours." Representatives for the complex say that are looking to local businesses to get involved in this project before the shot clock runs out.

The marketing manager for the Myrtle Beach Sports Complex located behind the Myrtle Beach Convention Center off of 21st Avenue, confirmed that 21 signed contracts for sport events are completed, however, construction is still underway.

"We'll be opening I believe in the first week of March and those contracts will take us right through August with the exception of Memorial Day Weekend and Easter," said manager Mark Beale.

Beale said the facility will be a big boom for the city. "The sports tourism aspect is just one more way to grow that business, particularly in the off season, so you know, it's right in the heart of Myrtle Beach, close to Broadway at the Beach - it's a perfect location," he explained.

Now that the contracts are lined up, the next focus is getting local businesses off the sideline and into the game. "With all the sports tourists coming to town, there's plenty of opportunities for local businesses to get involved to draw some of these sports tourists to their restaurant and different golf courses, and we've done a really good job so far in getting a lot of local businesses involved," said Beale.

Wonder Works, Myrtle Beach Golf, and Grand Strand Medical Center are a few businesses Beale said will cash in on tourists from upcoming cheer, pickle ball, volleyball and basketball events inside this 100-thousand square foot facility.

"Youth - we're looking at bringing 300 team volleyball events, 200 team basketball events, just a lot of people traveling into the area putting heads in beds for the weekend," Beale said. He thinks local businesses will benefit from the sport tourism during the off season. He said an estimated $127 million in revenue was brought into to Myrtle Beach in 2013, a large majority of that money came from cheer and dance events, along with volleyball and basketball events.

"So when you bring these people in December, January, February, and March, it makes a real impact on businesses. So we're just looking for a way to partner with local businesses so we can drive our people out of there and eat in their restaurants. 

Beale stated the hardwood floors for the complex arrived on a flatbed truck Wednesday. Crews must make sure the concrete poured is right first, they plan to start laying 72,000 square feet of hardwood flooring in the facility sometime next week.

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