BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. - Bartow County has had a huge economic boost thanks to kids and sports. The LakePoint Sporting Community has turned the tiny city of Emerson into a travel sports destination. Now, a new indoor facility has opened, making it a year-round sports venue.
The first pitch at LakePoint was thrown two years ago. Since then, thousands of teams and their families have shown up ready to play.
“It's very impressive for youth baseball and what it's done for the program as a whole, it's changed high school baseball and this is where college kids are getting recruited and getting seen,” says Mike Daniel whose son plays travel baseball.
LakePoint may be good for sports, but it's also good for the community in the form of tourism dollars. “We've seen $170 million in economic development impact here in Bartow County,” says LakePoint general manager Leslie McMillan.
That number is expected to go up dramatically with a new 170-thousand square foot indoor facility, making LakePoint a year-round sports complex. The venue has 12 basketball courts, and can also host volleyball, cheerleading, wrestling and other sports.
The $1 billion development is expected to be finished in the next two to three years. It covers 1300 acres in the Emerson area. There will be 40 different sports, 5 million square feet of commercial space, restaurants and hotels. All of this will create tens of thousands of jobs. “We're projecting a 26-thousand job indirect and direct impact on Bartow County,” says McMillan.
The new indoor facility hosted a Memorial Day basketball tournament with 120 teams. The grand opening is June 1; and everyone is invited to check it out!