New sports park price finalized, set to cost $37 million

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - After years of planning and months of negotiating, the Bay County Tourist Development Council decided on a final price for the up-and-coming sports park and stadium complex in Panama City Beach.

"That price that the TDC approved today [Tuesday] was for $37,448,500," Visit Panama City Beach President Dan Rowe said.

The price includes the development of 13 fields, buildings, utilities and roadways into the sports park off of Back Beach Road and Cauley Avenue.

"Out of the $37 million, there is a reduction in the cost to the TDC. The St. Joe Company has agreed to pay $2.8 million toward the cost of the entry road and Bay District Schools will reimburse the TDC another $2.8 million for the cost of the entrance road when the school gets built," Rowe said.

That brings the net cost for the TDC to about $31.8 million.

Tourism officials said the new price is making a big difference in the budget, but it's not making a change in the overall design.

"The play-ability and the ability to attract tournaments to Panama City Beach have not changed at all," Rowe said.

Minor modifications were made on some of the restaurants and other facilities at the park to lower the price.

The TDC is still waiting to hear if any TRIUMPH Gulf Coast funding will be applied to the project.

The TDC will be running the final cost by Bay County Commissioners at the March 6th commission meeting.

If all goes well, ground will be broken shortly after. Construction is then expected to take about 13 months.