MOBILE, Ala. (WKRG) — The Mobile County Commission voted today in a 2-1 vote to approve the incentives to add Topgolf to the city of Mobile.
TopGolf is asking for $1.25 million in cash incentives from the county and another $1.25 million from the city.
Excited to bring Topgolf to the city, TopGolf representative Todd Waldo said the project would be a big investment into the City of Mobile bringing more than just job opportunities.
“TopGolf will serve as a regional entertainment destination. It also signifies a significant multimillion-dollar investment in the community and Mobile,” said Waldo. “And this project will strengthen the tax base and create jobs on a property that has essentially been vacant for a number of years.”
As Topgolf becomes a huge investment in the eyes of Todd Waldo, David Rodgers with the Mobile Chamber of Commerce sees this addition as a boost to the city’s economy.
“Ultimately, we don’t have anything like this in our economy currently. This is competing more regionally on the Gulf Coast when we’re dealing with such things as the Mississippi Gulf Coast—the casino side of things. Or the Wahoo’s in the Pensacola side of things,” said Rodgers. “This will allow us to bring new tax revenue in the economy that’s not currently here.”
Commissioners Connie Hudson and Randall Dueitt voted in favor of the incentive, and Hudson is excited and proud of her decision after taking the time to visit a Topgolf.
“I’ve never been to a Topgolf. I’ve heard about them,” said Hudson. “It seems to be extremely popular and has been for quite some time, and I see it as an attraction. I see it adding to the landscape, and revenue producing together. I think that is a win-win.”
Commissioner Merceria Ludgood voted against the incentive. Ludgood provided WKRG News 5 with a statement that reads:
“It is my general philosophy that economic development incentives are inappropriate for real estate and retail developments. These companies make decisions based on whether a market can support their endeavor and I don’t believe it necessary to use public funds in this manner. Secondarily, at the pre-meeting conference on Thursday, I’d asked that the Topgolf representative be prepared to answer questions related to numbers of jobs and wages, but the requested wage information was not provided.”Commissioner Merceria
The Mobile City Council is expected to discuss the city’s contribution to the incentive package at tomorrow’s meeting, and they are expected to vote the following week.
If approved, Topgolf will begin construction in October of this year.