Bay Center may become Indoor Sports Center

The Escambia Board of County Commissioners appears open to tearing the aging Pensacola Bay Center and replacing it with an indoor sports facility. Well, at least, there are open to having Visit Pensacola and Pensacola Sports study the possibility.

A feasibility study has already shown that a new facility would bring 50,000 room nights a year, a direct spend economic benefit of $30 million annually, and create 450 direct and indirect jobs.

The problem has been agreeing on the site for the facility. Before a final decision is made, Visit Pensacola wants to do series of studies on the cost of demolition, annual maintenance, financing options and revenue projections.

The BCC asked for Visit Pensacola to present the proposal to the Pensacola City Council so that it can be added to the joint City-County meeting in January.


5 thoughts on “Bay Center may become Indoor Sports Center

  1. The interesting facets to this proposal are:
    1. Abandonment of the I-110 south ramp to Gregory Street.
    2. The reduction in size of the arena seating bowl to 5000.
    3. 80,000 sq. ft. of exhibition/sporting space.
    Overall I like the concept. They need to place a fixed wall between the arena and the exhibit space. A parking garage built to the north of the facility in the hotel parking lot would be nice. 5000 seats in the horseshoe configuration is fine for hockey and basketball, this would allow for 6000 for concerts with floor seating. The opportunity for larger trade shows. The Pensacon folks would love this.

  2. Here we go again, the rich hotel owners get tax payers to pay, so they can sell more rooms, and not pay a dime, plus the bed tax is used to promote the hotels, and here we go again, tax payers pay their advertisement. Have Hilton pay for it and build it out on the beach, then the county can tax them and keep the money. The good old boys are at it again, they get rich, and tax payers get @#$%^&*()_

  3. It would be nice if Rick’s Blog could post a copy of the feasibility study so we can read and evaluate it.

  4. This tin can of an auditorium has some of the worst acoustics of any auditorium I’ve ever visited. I swore off going back there to see any music concerts, so if you want to bring in great musical acts, then something needs to be changed. I guess it does work well for monster truck shows though!

  5. No way. Put it somewhere else. Bay Center needs an exhibition hall built on the east side parking lot. I hope the idea fails. Don’t become Mobile with their regret about their center. The place needs some work but it’s only 30 years old. Soccer complex on 29, anyone remember that? Civic pride is associated with the center. Boondoggle idea in that location.

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