SAN MARCOS, Texas — A new youth sports facility is coming to San Marcos, as the City is looking to cash in on the $15 billion youth sports tourism industry.

Right now it may look like a field in South San Marcos, because it is. But it's what the City is planning to do with this particular 80-acre field off of Centerpoint Road and Interstate Highway 35 that makes it special.

"We're excited about that," said Steve Parker, the assistant city manager in San Marcos.

Parker helped get the project moving to build eight championship baseball fields out of AstroTurf.

The City is partnering with a developer, SM Baseball Investments, to build the baseball fields. It's the City's goal to dive into the $15 billion industry that is youth sports tourism.

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"By the year 2028 it's expected to double to $30 billion," said Parker. "The developer will be responsible for building a $3 million D-bat training facility."

"It's been a completely collaborative process," said Tyler Sibley, from the developer who is going to build the fields. "There was clearly a need for a high-quality facility and complex for the youth of San Marcos."

As a former Texas State baseball player, Sibley is looking to better youth sports in the area. The D-Bat facility will be a training area that includes computer labs as well as weightlifting, conditioning areas and batting cages.

"Certainly a very unique opportunity that has a tremendous amount of promise with it," said Sibley.

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"Most of these projects ... are funded on the backs of the property taxpayers here in San Marcos, but this being eligible for hotel-motel revenues, this will be funded by the people staying in the hotels here in San Marcos," said Parker.

As for the City, leaders feel it's a no-brainer. Ultimately, they believe this will take an empty field and turn it into something the people staying there can use.

"People are going to want to be able to come to this area to do a tournament, and when they know they're guaranteed to play on championship fields that are synthetic turfs and they're not going to be rained out, this is going to be their place of choice," said Parker.

This is just the first stage of the development. The goal is to ultimately build a hotel as well as a top golf-like facility.

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