Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

If approved this week, sports tourism in Gluckstadt is ready to make a major leap forward.

According to an announcement from the city on Tuesday, 828 Sports Ventures and Turn Key Properties have entered into an official land agreement on a 43-acre site for the future home of a proposed $100 million travel sports destination.

The City of Gluckstadt is having a special meeting Thursday for considering of the project, which will allow for residents to voice their opinion. That is where a rendering of the project will be unveiled. The Board of Aldermen will vote on the project there. There is also a zoning board meeting Tuesday to discuss the matter.

The acquired land that would be home to the project belongs to Gluckstadt residents, Stuart and Katie Warren, owners of Turn Key Properties in Madison. It is located near I-55 and is expected to be the future home of the Gluckstadt MegaDome sports complex which would include various indoor courts, including basketball, volleyball and pickleball as well as outdoor fields such as football, baseball, softball. It is also expected to have a swimming pool.

The Gluckstadt MegaDome would also have meeting space, according to the statement, an on-site hotel and Mississippi-curated restaurants, among other things.

Seal of the City of Gluckstadt

“Sports tourism has become a $91.8 billion industry with research and financial projection data showing that the Gluckstadt MegaDome is expected to create upwards of $50 million in annual economic impact for the Gluckstadt community, as well as the central Mississippi region as a whole. With its unique geographic advantage and ability to connect millions of travel sports athletes and their families, all within a six-hour drive time from all the major Southern markets of Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Tennessee and Texas, central Mississippi will surely benefit from the trickle-down spending of these sports tourists,” the release said.

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828 Sports Ventures is headed up by Chief Executive Officer and NBA certified player agent, DeAngelo Simmons and Mississippi-native and longtime private equity investment executive and Chief Investment Officer, Larry Fortune, Chief Operating Officer, Brandon Williams and Director of Sports Tourism, Don Staley.

“On behalf of 828 Sports Ventures, DeAngelo Simmons, the Warren family and Turn Key Properties, this land agreement is a monumental step forward to bringing our vision of making the city of Gluckstadt, Mississippi the premiere sports tourism destination in the country,” Fortune said. He added, “None of this would be remotely possible without the unwavering support of Stuart and Katie Warren and Mayor Morrison, and for that we are forever grateful.”

The proposed development likely would be similar to a sports destination in Foley, Alabama, which has much the same amenities as is being suggested for Gluckstadt.

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In Foley, according to a recent story about sports tourism, retail sales in the small South Alabama town typically reach around $1.3 billion annually. With an estimated population of 24,000, the number of people in town more than doubles during some periods, especially during sporting events, the story said. That has also lead to residential numbers increasing over time.

There was no timetable announced as to when the complex would be completed.

Ross Reily can be reached by email at rreily@gannett.com or 601-573-2952. You can follow him on the X platform, formerly known as Twitter @GreenOkra1.

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