Panama City Beach is 1-of 2-cities in the running to become the permanent training home for a U-S Olympic sport.
The U-S Olympic Committee is considering Panama City Beach to be the year round training home of the Synchronized Swimming Team. The other city reportedly in the running is Greensboro, North Carolina.
Frank Brown Park Aquatic Center Director Bob Smith delivered the news to Panama City Beach City Council members during Thursday night's city council meeting.
To be selected, the city has to make some financial commitments. The swimming pool at Frank Brown would have to be enclosed. Smith says he's found a used enclosure, a sort of a plastic bubble dome, at a cost of 200-thousand dollars. A new dome would cost about 400-thousand.
But smith says the financial return would be incredible.
The facility would not only host training for the Synchronized Swimming Team, but would be guaranteed the Junior National Synchronized Swimming Championships for the next 4-years.
And it could open the door for other competitions that would boost the local economy.
Ken McGarelin said then there's the prestige factor. "I would like you for a moment to imagine coming down east and west onU.S. 98 and then down Highway 79, signage that would indicate, you know, Welcome to Panama City Beach, Florida - Home of the U.S. Olympic Training Center for Synchronized Swimming."
The team has to vacate its current training facility at Indiana Purdue University. Olympic officials will be making a decision soon. They say the girls will report to their new training home a few weeks after they return from the Summer Olympics in London.