The Metro Region is scoring big with the development of LakePoint Sporting Community in Bartow County. Spanning over 1,300 acres with 4 miles of direct line of sight along I-75, LakePoint will be redefining the idea of travel sports tourism and become a premier destination for youth sports competition.
Once fully completed, LakePoint will host 44 sports. It includes 16 Major League size baseball fields; 12 fields for Junior League baseball/fast pitch softball fields; 14 multi-purpose fields for soccer and lacrosse; 91 volleyball courts (10 on pro-regulation sand and 80 on state-of-the-art synthetic turf); full track and field facilities, as well as many bike paths and trails; wakeboarding lakes; 10 basketball courts; a golf course; and the full range of other facilities for a vast array of indoor and outdoor sports. Scouting towers and live video feeds will also be available for many sports. LakePoint also has access to Lake Allatoona, and will be able to host lake-related sports.
However, LakePoint is designed to provide much more than world-class sports facilities; it is designed to be the premier destination for sports travel tourism, providing entertainment and amenities for athletes and the families that support them. A common occurrence within families with travel sports athletes is that family vacation time often revolves around sports tournaments. At these sports venues, athletes have little to do in between games, while other children are bored on the sidelines. LakePoint is designed to alleviate this problem by providing 5 million square feet of on-site entertainment, shopping, hotels and restaurants. LakePoint’s BoomTown will boast a movie theater, waterpark, themed shopping, bowling alleys and much more. Bass Pro Shops has also decided to build a store on-site. There will be zip-lines, bike paths and trails throughout the complex, and visitors are in close proximity to Lake Allatoona, where they could rent boats, go fishing and enjoy some family time on the lake. LakePoint has also partnered with the Cartersville-Bartow Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to conduct joint marketing and provide package deals to visit other sites throughout the area, including museums.
LakePoint has several major corporate and individual sponsors to ensure the highest quality and design to maximize the sports environment for young athletes and their families. Coca-Cola is the official drink sponsor and will launch its first-ever POWERADE hydration station at LakePoint, while Shaw Sports Turf will install state-of-the-art synthetic turf throughout the complex. Meanwhile, The Miracle League – which allows physically and mentally challenged children the opportunity to play sports like any other child – will be relocating its world headquarters to LakePoint, as will Perfect Game USA, the largest amateur baseball event and scouting service. Bobby Cox and other individuals have also come on board as partners for LakePoint.
LakePoint also has an invaluable partner in Bartow County and the City of Emerson. This complex was made possible because of close collaboration with both the county and Emerson. They caught the vision for the development and have worked closely with LakePoint to make this project a reality. The partnership has benefited Emerson and the County as well. Wakefield-Beasley & Associates, designers for LakePoint, helped Emerson to create a master plan for the city. The development is also bringing a lot of jobs to the region. Emerson suffered from a 13% unemployment rate when the land was first purchased for LakePoint. Employment is already improving, as LakePoint is strongly committed to hiring local employees.
(Aerial view of construction progress at LakePoint, Late May 2014)
The total economic impact of LakePoint is massive, with 26,000 jobs projected to be created over both phases of the project. The first phase includes the initial infrastructure and South campus, and it is underway, with portions of the development open already. Phase 1 is projected to create approximately 21,400 new jobs, 9,500 of which are on-site. Phase 2 of the project includes the development of North Campus, and is expected to create 4,700 additional jobs.
As Earl Ehrhart, CEO of LakePoint, explained, “What this complex means, more than anything else, is a revitalization of this community, it means 20,000 plus new jobs, it means excitement, and a place kids to play.”
LakePoint held its first tournament for volleyball this past Saturday with over 100 teams, and these tournaments will continue throughout the season. The first baseball and LB3 lacrosse events will be held there this week. NASA soccer will start later this summer, and other sports will start in upcoming months.
The Council for Quality Growth would like to commend LakePoint for the incredible impact that they are making on the economic development of the Metro Region. The complex will be a world-class destination for travel sports tourism, and an amazing asset to the region. With the Braves coming to Cobb County, the start of a football program at Kennesaw State University and the development of LakePoint, the I-75 corridor is transforming itself into a destination for sports and growth.