LAFAYETTE, La. (KLFY)– Lafayette Mayor-President Josh Guillory, The Lafayette Convention & Visitors Commission and the Acadiana Hotel and Lodging Association had announced plans to pursue a state-of-the-art indoor sports facility Thursday.

The multi-purpose facility is supposed to have space for a minimum of eight basketball courts, 16 volleyball courts, and would provide opportunities for people to host pickleball, wrestling and other sporting events.

The facility is designed to enhance Lafayette Parish’s sports tourism, and increase hotel and overnight stays. A study that was developed by LCVC with the Huddle Up Group, a Phoenix-based sports tourism, marketing, venue and event consulting company, determined the lack of an indoor facility for sporting events in the parish.

“Through our extensive analysis and our knowledge of the national marketplace, we believe there is an opportunity for Lafayette Travel to deliver additional overnight stays to the destination through an enhanced sports tourism strategy,” the Huddle Up Group highlights in the report. “This expanded effort will lead to increased economic development and will positively impact the community over time. The opportunity at hand is to put in place an enriched sports tourism support system, engaging all stakeholders throughout the Lafayette area to drive more economic development and improve opportunities for community user groups.”

No such facility exists on the I-10 corridor from Jacksonville to Houston according to the Huddle Up Group. The Huddle Up Group and Lafayette Travel estimate a minimum of 30,000 new room nights a year will be generated after establishing the facility.

“This is a historic announcement for Lafayette Parish and the region and will be a game changer for the tourism economy,” Ben Berthelot, president & CEO of LCVC, said. “With the support seen from the hotel-motel community from day one, and the ability to drive an additional 30,000 plus hotel and motel plus room nights per year, I think it’s evident this is a pivotal moment. It’s also another great example of a project where quality of life for our residents and the tourism economy both win. We can’t wait for it to come to fruition, and we look forward to getting to work selling the facility.”

Funding for the project will come from a 2% tax on hotels and motels in Lafayette Parish, according to LCG.

“An indoor facility will position Lafayette Parish to host state, regional, and national tournaments,” Guillory said. “Our people shouldn’t be forced to travel to facilities in other states when we have an opportunity to have our own state-of-the-art facility in our community