FOLEY, Ala. (WALA) The City of Foley will soon break ground on a new multi-use sports complex.
Construction of the $27 million sports complex will begin as early as March. The adjacent conference center hotel is expected to be built at the same time, according to developer Glen Bilbo of Blue Collar Country. Officials say the goal is to create a one-stop venue where sports teams can spend the night and walk to their tournaments.
“We envision a sports destination where families can drive in, park their cars and have everything they need within walking distance,” according to Foley Mayor John Koniar. “We are excited about the positive impact it will have not only for Foley, but for the entire south Baldwin region.
The anticipated economic impact of the sports complex is estimated at $38 million annually, based on an economic impact study commissioned by the city.
According to Foley officials, the outdoor section of the Foley Sports Tourism Complex will consist of 13 outdoor fields designed to accommodate soccer, football and lacrosse. Eight of the fields will include lighting to provide for extended play and larger tournaments. All fields will include electronic video boards to provide scores and information and a state-of-the-art cooling system to keep players cool. The complex will include a championship field that will include seating for 2,000, plus a press box and lighting to accommodate television broadcasts.
The 100,000-square-foot multi-purpose Foley Events Center can be configured to provide enough room for 12 volleyball courts or 6 basketball courts. The center will include office space, a referee lounge and locker rooms. An indoor/outdoor stage will be located on the east end of the events center that can accommodate indoor concerts for up to 7,000 or host outdoor events, playing to an audience in an outdoor plaza.
Overall plans for the complex include field houses, onsite food and beverage pavilions with full service capabilities, playgrounds and parking for up to 800 vehicles and 20 buses.
A multi-lane entrance into the new facility will be created off Alabama 59 with the extension of Pride Drive, as part of a $12 million federal transportation grant which Foley received last year. The new roadway, which will extend Pride Drive east past Juniper Street, will lead directly into the new sports complex and ultimately connect to Baldwin County 20.
Construction on the sports complex is expected to complete by spring of 2015.