The massive sports development now underway in Emerson will bring about 20 new restaurants and 4,000 hotel rooms to Bartow County and within minutes of Cartersville, according to officials who Friday held an open house for invited guests.
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LakePoint Sporting Community & Town Center partners—including former Atlanta Braves manager Bobby Cox, current Braves Manager Fredi Gonzales and Kansas City Royals Manager Ned Yost—hosted development partners, local dignitaries and "friends of LakePoint" at the construction site trailer at 755 Highway 293, officials said in a press release. Guests got an up close view of LakePoint property and met partners and tenants, such as Perfect Game and Braveheart Sports Events, a partnership between North Atlanta Soccer Association and LB3 Lacrosse.
Officials added LakePoint—the privately-funded, more than 1,400-acre mixed-use development set to include a core 262-acre sports complex to play host to baseball, lacrosse and soccer tournaments for 10 months each year—will include more than 1 million square feet of mixed-use and retail space.
Called "the biggest thing Bartow has seen," the development is expected to bring thousands of jobs, becoming one of the largest employers in northwest Georgia; a 17-acre wakeboard park; a number of retailers, possibly including Bass Pro Shops; and Braves Spring Training.
“The main goal of this project is to balance mission and margin," Cox said in the release. “First and foremost, [the] LakePoint project will enhance the physical, emotional and psychological well-being of our youth—our future—by participation in team sports. And, it will develop the ultimate youth sports destination in the world, bringing unparalleled economic impact to the local community and region.”
In addition to a 114,000-square-foot indoor facility for lacrosse, soccer, wrestling, baseball, volleyball, gymnastics and cheerleading events, the development is set to include 16 baseball and 14 lacrosse/soccer fields for tournaments, a FIFA II-certified field for NCAA and international soccer events, and the world’s biggest synthetic turf sports complex by Sportexe, a division of Shaw Industries.
LakePoint also will be home to three major tenants: Perfect Game USA, the “gold-standard” resource for baseball recruiting for collegiate, minor and major league scouts; LB3 Lacrosse, one of the nation’s premier organizers of Lacrosse camps, clinics and tournament travel teams; and North Atlanta Soccer Association, the largest youth soccer organizations in the southeast.
With the development, Bartow and Emerson will become "the unparalleled sports destination in the U.S.," officials say. The first pitch, kick and shot are slated for 2013.