Manatee County commissioners on Nov. 28 will get a first look at a proposal to purchase and operate Premier Sports Campus in Lakewood Ranch.
Manatee County Convention and Visitors Bureau Executive Director Elliott Falcione will present a plan to acquire the roughly 127-acre property that makes up Premier Sports Campus, as well as an additional 36 acres that could be used for a future aquatics facility.
Lakewood Ranch developer Schroeder-Manatee Ranch approached Manatee County about buying the property for $5.2 million in June and set a deadline of Dec. 15. County staff has been conducting due diligence.
Under the proposal, Manatee County would continue operating Premier as an elite sports venue, hiring or contracting with existing Premier staff to run the facility, and the CVB would manage programming of all sports fields.
Proposed acquisition funding would be $3.2 million from tourist taxes and the remaining $2.1 million from parks impact fees. Anticipated operating costs of $200,000 annually would be incorporated into the budget process, agenda documents state.
Pending conceptual approval from the county commission, the CVB would seek the recommendation of the Manatee County Tourist Development Council to spend up to $4 million in tourist tax proceeds — enough to fund the purchase plus the construction of permanent restrooms and an indoor multipurpose building on site — at its Dec. 4 meeting. Commissions then would finalize the deal at its Dec. 7 meeting so accommodate a closing before the year ends.