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New sports complex would help Fort Worth draw more sports tourism dollars

individuals playing soccerClub soccer is big business, drawing participants from around the region for matches.

The city and its partners are studying whether a new sports facility would allow Fort Worth to better compete in the lucrative sports tourism market.

After studying area sports facilities for five months, the Fort Worth Sports Authority is recommending that the city consider investing in a 98-acre complex housing 20 multi-sport outdoor tournament fields — a mix of turf fields and natural grass — and a 100,000-square-foot indoor complex with a turf field, locker rooms and offices. About half of the land would be needed for parking.

Jason Sands, director of sports marketing for Visit Fort Worth, said that after five years, the complex would have an estimated annual economic impact of more than 37,000 room nights, 122,500 visitors to Fort Worth and $16 million in direct visitor spending.

Total estimated cost for the complex would be $52 million plus land purchase costs.

Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa said the next step will be to ask the Sports Authority to conduct a “deeper dive” study to examine where such a facility might be located; whether the city and its partners already own land that could accommodate the complex; how a new facility would impact those facilities already in operation; and funding mechanisms, such as the Hotel Occupancy Tax, the 2022 bond program, public-private partnerships or other sources.

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