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Waco city council approves funding for new Baylor basketball facility

Rendering of new basketball and entertainment facility dubbed the Foster Pavilion
Rendering of new basketball and entertainment facility dubbed the Foster Pavilion(City of Waco)
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 8:48 PM CST
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - The Waco city council unanimously approved a move that will bring them one step closer to a new men’s and women’s basketball facility Tuesday.

It’s the largest economic development project in Waco’s history. Once completed by June 2024, the $65 million venue will be used by the city for 90 days a year for concerts and entertainment.

The TIFF funding, otherwise known as the tax increment financing zone funding, also means that no property taxes are necessary to pay for it.

“We’re thrilled that this isn’t gonna take property taxes from public safety, streets, you name,” said Waco Mayor Dillon Meek.

“This is coming from an existing downtown capital investment fund that’s been around for decades.”

The funding has been raised since 1982, in fact.

Meanwhile, Baylor Vice President of Intercollegiate Athletics Mack Rhoades says this new venue will not only be an extra boost for business, but a major advantage for games no matter the opponent.

“I know that Scott Drew and Nicki Collen are really excited and for our student athletes to be able to play in an environment with 7500 people, loud as can be at full capacity, that’s gonna bring an unbelievable experience for them as well,” he said.

Mayor Meek adds the new venue will be a major boost for local businesses hit hard by the pandemic for nearly two years.

“We know that a robust downtown is necessary for a strong regional economy and this is one step further towards that goal,” he said.

“One of the things we’re gonna see is people across the state, the country and across the region are gonna utilize the restaurants, the hotels, the retail spaces on this side and it’s gonna be an attraction for folks all over the country.”

Construction for the facility is expected to begin next summer.

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