Myrtle Beach council lukewarm on proposed indoor sports complex names

mprabhu@thesunnews.comDecember 11, 2013 

— Athletes competing in indoor sports events in Myrtle Beach could soon be telling people they’re going to play at “The Grand” if City Council members warm up to the proposed name and vote to approve it.

The Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce presented a list of three potential names for the estimated $12.4 million, 100,000-square-foot indoor sports complex adjacent to the Myrtle Beach Convention Center to a lukewarm reception from City Council members.

“I appreciate everybody’s effort, but it really doesn’t grab me,” Councilman Wayne Gray said.

Danna Lilly, director of sales for the chamber, proposed The Grand Sports Center Myrtle Beach, The Wave Myrtle Beach and The Beach House Myrtle Beach as the three names the council should consider.

The chamber worked with city staff, students at Horry-Georgetown Technical College and Costal Carolina University, and the public to compile the suggestions. The public was asked to submit potential names online earlier this fall.

“We wanted a name that sets us apart from the competition,” assistant city manager John Pedersen said. “We want it to make a statement about community and the [facility’s themes of] leadership, character and sportsmanship.”

Some members of council recommended the chamber go back to the drawing board.

“I know there’s been a lot of effort … But we’ve got so many things that are ‘grand,’ ” Councilman Mike Lowder said. “There’s a lot of use of the word ‘grand’ in our area and in Myrtle Beach… We’ve got a little bit of time here. It’s not like we’ve got to name this thing today.”

Council members said the new sports complex, expected to open in spring 2015, gives them a rare opportunity to come up with a “wow” name, but acknowledged that they need to make a decision sooner than later.

Lilly said she hopes to have a final name for the complex by mid January “at the absolute latest” so materials and logos can be designed and prepared by early April, when she said she will make a pitch for a major sponsorship.

Councilmen suggested holding a workshop in the next few weeks to further discuss name possibilities, while acknowledging that once some time passes “The Grand” may grow on them.

“As we continue to think about ‘The Grand,’ we may realize that it’s a name that fits,” Gray said.

The three top names were chosen from about 75 suggestions from multiple sources.

“We’ll share this list with you – you may like ‘The Grand’ more after you see it,” she said.

Pedersen said the city will advertise a call for bids next week, with construction hopefully beginning in February 2014 and ending in February 2014.

“We’re on schedule,” Pedersen said. “The building design’s been approved and the site’s been cleared. … We hope to open the first weekend in March 2015.”

Contact MAYA T. PRABHU at 444-1722 or follow her at Twitter.com/TSN_MPrabhu.

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