Alachua County and Celebration Pointe (Viking Inc.) are hosting a “Topping Off Ceremony” at the Alachua County Sports Event Center on May 6, 2022, at 5 p.m. at the construction site located adjacent to 5001 Celebration Pointe Avenue. The event will celebrate the placement of the final steel beam of the Center’s structure.
Speakers at the event include:
- Alachua County Manager Michele Lieberman
- Alachua County Commission Chair Marihelen Wheeler
- Florida State Senator Keith Perry
- Svein Dyrkolbotn, Principal Owner, Viking Inc./Celebration Pointe
- Alachua County Commissioner Ken Cornell
“Alachua County’s public/private partnership with Celebration Pointe in the building and operation of this facility is a game-changer for our region,” said Alachua County Manager Michele Lieberman. “It will have an estimated net economic output of $77 million/year, create 1,150 jobs with $25.9 million in yearly wages, bring in 117,000 annual hotel room nights with over $12 million in hotel spending, generate $1.2 million in sales tax, and over $600,000 in bed tax.”
“When the Sports Center opens in early 2023, it will be the premier regional and national sports tourism destination for hosting indoor track and field events, cheerleading, mat sports, basketball, volleyball, and other sports,” commented Viking’s principal owner Svein Dyrkolbotn. “This facility will be competitive with sports tourism operations regionally, nationally, and internationally.”
The County is providing $30 million from the Tourist Development Tax (paid by visitors to the County) for the construction of the $38 million facilities, with the remaining $8 million coming from Viking Inc. ($5.7 million) and the State of Florida ($2.3 million), through an appropriation request submitted by Senator Keith Perry and Representative Chuck Clemons. Viking Inc. will operate the Center and is building a $15 million, 1,235 space parking garage next door.