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Naples Daily News (Florida)
Collier County commissioners are set to sign a deal Tuesday to buy the land to build a sports complex for $12 million.
Commissioners unanimously raised the county's bed tax this summer from 4 to 5 percent to pay for the complex, which will cost tens of millions of dollars in addition to the land.
The proposed deal with City Gate LLC, led by developer Ron Rice, would give the county 61 acres in between the county's landfill and Collier Boulevard immediately north of Interstate 75. The county already owns 305 acres next to the site.
The price for the land was negotiated before commissioners raised the bed tax. Once it officially becomes the county's land, commissioners will have to draw up plans for the complex and decide how many fields and what kind of a stadium they can fit on the site.
Detailed concept plans, which are on track to be finalized by fall 2018, could greatly affect the final price tag of the project.
Tentative plans include a small 3,000-seat covered stadium with at least eight outdoor artificial turf fields for football, lacrosse and soccer, as well as eight baseball/softball diamonds.
The rectangular outdoor fields would likely get built first, while a field for championship games that would include bleachers might be added in a second phase.
"Now we're moving into permitting and environmental and design phases," Commissioner Bill McDaniel said. "We will go through very public process for the design of the complex."
The county estimates the total cost of the project, including the land purchase, to fall somewhere between $45 million and $60 million.
The county will look for ways to make money from the venue through naming rights, sponsorships and advertisements. It's also reviewing management options with plans to form a private-public partnership with an operator or event organizer.
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