MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF)- City officials expect the sports center to bring in millions of dollars during it's first year.
Mayor John Rhodes feels the one thing our area was missing was this facility. He says sports tourism generated $155 million last year. He expects the new sports center to add another $10 million in its first years and $25 million more in the years to follow.
"We've got the rooms, we've got the restaurants, we've got the entertainment, we've got the total package," Rhodes said. He believes it's much more than teams coming to the center for tournaments, it's the crowds they bring with them.
"You're looking at the increase, whether it be a room rented, with two double beds in it, a mom might come with a daughter, or a dad come with his son, then the whole family comes, you got three rooms rented, you don't have two eating lunch, or dinner, you've got six or seven," Rhodes added.
Rhodes says the center will directly impact local businesses and one of the host hotels for this weekend's volley ball tournament, the Myrtle Beach Comfort Suites, is feeling it.
"That particular group is taking 16 rooms, for two or three nights," said Racheal Williams said, the Director of Sales for Myrtle Beach Comfort Suites. Williams wanted to work hand in hand with the new sports center as soon as she heard of it's opening.
"... and so when I actually got a booking like that, I was absolutely excited, everybody here at the hotel is excited to have them and all of the other teams we always have here," Williams said.
Mayor Rhodes feels the center will be the helping hand many local businesses need in the off season. He believes it could be just 10 years until sports tourism brings so many teams and tourists to the area, they could need a second facility.