BALDWIN COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A new sports complex is officially coming to the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach area after Gulf Shores & Orange Beach Tourism purchased 111.26 acres of land Tuesday, June 28.
According to a release, the lot of land will be used by Gulf Shores | Orange Beach Sports & Events for tourism events and sports. The far north end of the property reaches the Foley line, right up to the Orange Beach city limits. The exact location is at Coastal Gateway Boulevard and Foley Beach Express, west and north of the Auburn University satellite campuses.
According to the release, the plan is in response to the, “growing population in the cities of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach and two city school systems,” to reduce the number of events at local sports complexes and schools, “to leave room for residential use.”
According to the report, sports and event tourism, “is a key economic driver in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, particularly outside of the peak summer season.”
“As field use increases for the city school systems and local youth sports, there is shrinking space to maintain and grow sports and event tourism. There is very limited real estate of any sizable portion left in south Baldwin County, so we knew we needed to purchase a large parcel of land before it was gone. With guidance and direction from our board of directors, we were able to find and secure this land to insure the future of sports tourism along the Gulf Coast”
Beth Gendler, CMP, CDME, president and CEO of the tourism bureau
Other Gulf Coast communities are working on similar projects. The city of Destin is currently debating whether one of their city park’s softball field should be changed to a regulation size high school baseball field.