Jan 14, 2014 2:46 PM by Sara Donchey
CORPUS CHRISTI -- Today, the city-owned land at Weber and Crosstown is just an empty field. It's 50 acres of grass and dirt.
But in the next few years, it could be transformed into a sprawling sports complex.
The city is considering donating the land to a private developer, who in turn would build several thousand square feet of indoor and outdoor sports facilities, including soccer and baseball fields and basketball courts.
Michael Morris, the Director of Parks and Recreation said the complex could be a good investment for the city.
"Athletic events can generate big dollars from our economy from people staying in our hotels, visiting our restaurants, (and) doing shopping here," Morris said.
For the last two summers, the city's Parks and Recreation Department hosted two major statewide sports tournaments.
Each saw more than 8,000 athletes and brought in more than $7 million dollars in revenue per year.
And Morris explained that a new, bigger sports complex could host dozens more events like this.
"This would be something that's primarily to host tournaments every weekend or as many weekends as possible, when these other facilities usually aren't available because they're being used for league play of other leagues."
And so far, the city says they've gotten a lot of public support.
Kelley Allen is a city council member who supports the plan, but he's also a dad of two teenage boys who play several sports.
Allen travels all over the country to his kids' baseball and basketball tournaments
He said as a council member--and a dad--a sports complex here in town just makes sense.
"Not only would it be good to bring money to Corpus Christi, but it would lessen the burden for parents like myself to have to travel out of town all time."
Right now the Parks and Recreation Department is in the early stages of drawing up a proposal for the plan.
According to the Convention and Visitor's Bureau, several companies have already expressed interest in bidding on the project.
But the city says it could be a few years before the facility is built.