69 / 52
      68 / 53
      65 / 52

      Quidditch not just for Harry Potter, but also North Myrtle Beach

      It's been almost a year since construction first began on the North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex off of Robert Edge Parkway and Highway 31, and already, it's proving to be anything but ordinary.

      "Now you're seeing our facilities are in place, all the different aspects of the park are coming a long so people can really get a feel for what all we have to offer and what all they can enjoy here at our park," Matt Gibbons, Superintendent of Sports Tourism in North Myrtle Beach said.

      Recently, that list of activities has reached a whole new level.

      Last week, the International Quidditch Association, the group that runs real-life versions of the popular broom game seen in Harry Potter movies, announced the sports complex will be the home of their 2014 world cup. Quidditch is a combination of rugby, dodgeball, and hide-and-seek. Gibbons said the city has had their eyes on the event for quite a while.

      "It's a great event, it's unique, it's something we've never seen before," Gibbons said.

      The list of non-traditional activities doesn't stop there.

      "We've met with representatives from ultimate frisbee, rugby, soccer, lacrosse, obviously baseball, softball, flag football, tackle football, so we've met with people from all over and we're open to anything. It doesn't even have to be a sport," Gibbons said.

      Even the financial benefit from the park is already exceeding expectations.

      "Coastal Carolina predicted that we'd do about 10 million dollars of direct economic impact. We feel like we're around 14 or 15 right now, and that number's growing," Gibbons said.

      He also said there's some things the complex will provide that money can't buy.

      "This gives people a place to have a picnic, have a birthday party, walk, enjoy the area, enjoy the parks, so I don't know if you can put a price tag on that."

      The complex is expected to open March 1, 2014, and has cost the city 15 million dollars.