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      Myrtle Beach is one step closer to sports center construction

      The City of Myrtle beach is getting ready to build a $12.5 million indoor sports center, after city council members gave the plans a green light during Tuesday's meeting.

      The proposed indoor facility will be more than 100,000 square feet, which will include eight full-size basketball courts that can be converted into 16 volleyball courts, team rooms, a rock-climbing wall, and concession stand.

      A video was shown at Tuesday night's city council meeting that shows a sports facility currently under construction in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Myrtle Beach's facility will look similar.

      Assistant City Manager Ron Edwards said the city wants to start scheduling sporting events as soon as February 2015. He said the deadline is ambitious for several reasons.

      "There are a number of tournaments, events that are out there that we'd like to compete for, and the longer we wait to get into the process, the longer it will take to build up our reputation," Edwards said.

      Once the new complex is built, Edwards said it will help infuse money back into the local economy. Specifically, he expects around $7 million after the first year and up to $30 million after five years.

      "While these folks are here, they are going to spend money in all of these other venues. Now that not only benefits the retailer, or owner of the business, but it also benefits the employees. They get a paycheck, and they can spend that locally in the economy," said Edwards.

      The next step in the project is to select an architect to design the sports complex.