The Escambia County Commission is reviewing the best way to move forward with the aging Pensacola Bay Center and the challenges the facility currently faces.
In October 2017, the county received an unsolicited proposal from Pensacola Arena Development Partners, LLC for a field house and arena. Based on many points in that presentation, a formal "Request for Letters of Interest" was solicited in November 2017 for Multi-Use Sports and Event Venue Public Private Partnership proposals. One proposal was received from SMG, the current facility management group.
No decision was made to move forward with either proposal at this time, but the commission selected a Downtown Pensacola Multi-Use Sports and Events Venue as one of their approved five priority projects to include in the initial pre-application cycle for Triumph funding.
Triumph Gulf Coast, Inc. is a nonprofit corporation organized to oversee the expenditure of 75 percent of all funds recovered by the Florida attorney general for economic damages to the state that resulted from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The corporation is required to administer the distribution of the $1.5 billion over 15 years to be used for the recovery, diversification and enhancement of the eight Northwest Florida counties disproportionately affected by the oil spill. Those counties include Escambia, Santa Rosa, Okaloosa, Walton, Bay, Gulf, Franklin and Wakulla.
The Downtown Pensacola Multi-Use Sports and Events Venue was submitted for the first cycle of the pre-application step on Nov. 15. The project was approved to move forward, and the full application was submitted at the end of February. A final decision is anticipated by the Triumph board this spring. See documents in the Plans Section below.