The Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus in Pasco County, scheduled to open in July, is expected to increase tourism to the area as visitors come to enjoy the amenities of the 98,000 square foot indoor sports campus The 80-acre property is close to The Shops at Wiregrass and a new 128-room Marriott Residence Inn that will be adjacent next to the facility. The property is under construction at Lajuana Boulevard just off State Road 54.
“As people visit our community for gymnastics, cheerleading, basketball, wrestling tournaments and more, they will travel with their families, stay in Pasco County hotels, shop in Pasco County stores, and eat in Pasco County restaurants, helping our businesses of all sizes grow,” Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore said during the media hard hat tour. “This is a public asset that is not just for visitors. During the week, there will be local programming available to our residents.” Last year, Pasco County drew in more than one million tourists.
RADDSports is managing the campus and has already booked several events. The facility will be able to host volleyball, basketball, soccer, futsal, mixed martial arts, gymnastics, wrestling, cheerleading and dance. Their goal is to create a first-class multi-use sports facility that will support year-round amateur and youth sports. RADDSports projects the campus to produce 27,000 visitor nights annually.
The property was donated by the Porter family, owners of Wiregrass Ranch, in 2013. Moore said it took the Porters, the will of commission and the DMO to get something done. The destination marketing organization that Moore is referring to is the Florida Sports Coast, whose goal is to promote tourism covering the 742 square miles of rolling green hills, scenic coastlines, amateur sports venues and complexes, picturesque trails and rich culture in Dade City, New Port Richey, Zephyrhills, and Wesley Chapel areas. “Since rebranding as Florida’s Sports Coast last March our team has worked hard to market the destination as a premier location for amateur sporting events. This has included sales missions to Colombia, South America as well as attending several of the top sporting event conferences and tradeshows across the country. Just in the last year alone, we’ve seen the numbers reflect those efforts with 14% of our visitors coming to our destination for sporting events," said Adam Thomas, Tourism Director.
“I am greatly appreciative of all the hard work it is taking to make the Wiregrass Ranch Sports Campus of Pasco County a reality,” Pasco County Commission Chairman Mike Moore said. “From the Porter family donating the land to Pasco County, to the support of my fellow Commissioners and Tourist Development Council members, the Experience Florida’s Sports Coast team, RaddSports, our construction contractors at Ajax Building, and everyone else involved that will make this facility a success for our community.”