The long-awaited multi-use sports complex in the Wiregrass Ranch Development of Regional Impact (DRI) was officially approved by the Pasco County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) on Aug. 5, and the county’s Tourist Development Tax (TDT), or “bed” tax, will be doubled to pay for it.
By a 4-0 vote, with District 4 commissioner Jack Mariano abstaining, the county approved the plan to build the $44-million complex on a 224-acre parcel of land owned by the county (that was previously donated by the Porter family) and located northeast of the Shops at Wiregrass.
The TDT is a tax placed on overnight hotel stays within the county.
Steve Domonkos, specialty leasing manager at the Shops at Wiregrass, and Hope Allen, the CEO of the Greater Wesley Chapel Chamber of Commerce (WCCC), were the only speakers at the public hearing, and both spoke in favor of increasing the TDT from two percent to four percent.
The BCC already had set aside $11 million ($8.5-million in tourist tax funds and $2.5 million in excess bond proceeds from a prior half-cent sales tax bond) and a county-backed loan of $14.2 million to pay for the project.
The increase in the TDT is expected to generate $1.2 million annually, which will help pay down the loan. RADDSports, which is developing the indoor sports facility that anchors the project, says that the projected revenue generated by the indoor/outdoor facility also will help repay the loan.
A 128-room Residence Inn by Marriott, which will be owned and operated by Mainsail Lodging & Development, also will be built at the complex, at a cost of roughly $19 million.
The pet-friendly hotel is expected to house many of the youth sports teams from all over the state that RADDSports’ Richard Blalock says will flock to the facility for tournaments.
The county expects the sports complex to generate 27,000 room nights per year.
The 98,000-sq.-ft. indoor sports facility, the first phase of the project, will host major tournaments for basketball, volleyball, cheerleading and other indoor sports. It also will boast meeting rooms and concession stands, and share the 60-acre site with an amphitheatre, as well as football and soccer fields and park trails, all part of the complex’s second phase.