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May 13, 2014

Myrtle Beach Sports Center general manager settling in to new job

For the past month, John McDonald has been working to get the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center up and ready for the public by its opening date next spring.

For the past month, John McDonald has been working to get the new Myrtle Beach Sports Center up and ready for the public by its opening date next spring.

The sports center’s new general manager started with the facility in early April and said he is looking forward to bringing youth sports events to the city – an area where he said he sees major growth.

“I think the development of youth sports is the next big thing,” he said. “It’s generating new revenue dollars and tax dollars.”

McDonald, who moved to Myrtle Beach from Fayetteville, N.C., for the job, ran his own company – Prism Sports and Entertainment – that produced events ranging from NBA preseason games to high school sports, he said.

McDonald said he not only is working to bring youth sporting events and tournaments to the sports facility, but also wants to create events that Myrtle Beach could host.

“We’re not only relying on youth sports [promoters], but we want to be creative and generate events that can run in the off-season,” he said.

Construction of the 100,000-square-foot indoor sports complex near the Myrtle Beach Convention Center began in February.

Myrtle Beach City Council voted in July to build the indoor complex aiming to boost sports tourism in Myrtle Beach, especially during the beach’s slower times of the year.

The complex will include eight basketball courts that will be cross-lined to hold two volleyball courts each, a café and retail area, an entertainment zone featuring a climbing wall and a 1,500-seat telescopic bleacher system.

McDonald said he’s received a lot of interest in bringing events to the facility once it opens next year, though declined to name specifics until contracts are signed.

McDonald will introduce himself to City Council and answer questions about the progress of the facility during Tuesday’s City Council workshop in City Hall, 937 Broadway St. The workshop begins at 9 a.m.

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