Sports Tourism on the Rise in Panama City Beach: The Impact and Future of Indoor Facilities

Sporting events fueling economic growth in Panama City Beach

Panama City Beach is quickly becoming a popular destination for families due to its beautiful beaches, but it’s also gaining attention for its sports tourism. During the Bay County Tourism Development Council Meeting on Tuesday, leaders highlighted the significant economic impact of sports on tourism in the area.

The Publix Sports Complex, which opened in 2019, has hosted over 250 events and brought in more than 400 thousand visitors who have stayed a combined total of 1.3 million days. Visitors to the area have spent more than $271 million, showcasing the success of the sports tourism industry.

Despite this success, there is currently a lack of an indoor facility for sporting events in the area. The Tourist Development Council mentioned that the upcoming Coca-Cola Event Center will address this need by hosting indoor sporting events, meetings, and other activities. The Executive Director of the Bay County TDC, Dan Rowe, expressed excitement for the new addition and stated that it will further enhance Panama City Beach as a destination.

Sports tourism officials believe that the Coca-Cola Event Center will have a positive impact on sporting events in the area. Chris O’Brien, the Director of Sports Tourism, mentioned that the new center will allow for more events in winter months particularly indoor court sports like basketball volleyball and wrestling. The center will also provide opportunities to host cheerleading dance competitions during winter season.

Overall, officials expect that adding Coca-Cola Event Center will support growth of sports tourism in Panama City Beach and offer versatile space for various events throughout year round.

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