The SODA Blog

The official blog of the Sportsplex Operators & Developers Association

New sports park could cost $20 million more than expected !

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) – The Panama City Beach Tourist Development Council has its work cut out for it in negotiations after bids on the new sports park came in tens of millions of dollars higher than expected.

The new sports park and stadium complex in Panama City Beach was originally expected to cost about $30 million, but that price has gone up.

“Bids came in, they were a little higher than we expected, so we’re recommending the number one firm to start the negotiation process with them, to try to get the price down to where we can level it,” Tourist Development Council Chairman, Philip “Griff” Griffitts said.

Four construction companies bid on the project. All came in at around $50 million. That’s $20 million, or 67 percent, more than planned.

After getting advice from its attorney, the Tourist Development Council unanimously agreed to start negotiations with locally-based Phoenix Construction.

“Phoenix has a great deal with dealing with wetlands through the airport process, this side is a little wet, so he has a lot of experience with that. He has a lot of horizontal construction and his price was at the lowest and so we felt like he was the firm to choose,” Griffitts said.

However, $20 million is a lot to negotiate down. That’s 40% of the lowest bid.

“There’s a lot of what we hear, garbage cans, TV’s, things that are highly expensive. The price per foot is a little more than we expected so we’re going to go in with them and try to trim some of the specifications out,” Griffitts said.

If negotiations don’t work out with Phoenix Construction, the TDC says it will move on to Roberts and Roberts, Inc., a construction company out of Panama City.

There’s no timeline yet on negotiations until the Bay County Commission approves the TDC’s decision.

The county commission is expected to make that decision at its next meeting on June 20th.

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