Perfect Game, a baseball scouting organization, is moving its national headquarters to Hutto in what the city described as the single largest economic development deal in its history, according to a news release issued Thursday night.
Perfect Game will be building the city’s first indoor sports and events center and a convention hotel, the release said. It will also feature 24 baseball fields, including 10 that the city of Hutto will build for public use, according to the release. The sports and events center is designed to seat 13,000 people.
The complex in Hutto will also feature office, commercial and residential space, medical and physical therapy services, and sports and clothing apparel, the release said.
The national headquarters of Perfect Game is currently in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.
The project — a partnership between Perfect Game, developer Wolverine Interests, LLC, Sports Facility Advisory/Sports Facilities Management and the City of Hutto — will bring $800 million in private investment, the release said. It will be located east of Fritz Park, located at 400 Park Avenue and on the north side of U.S. 79.
Perfect Game has entered a 30-year lease with the city for the land, according to the release. The property tax totals are expected to be $5.1 million each year, and sales tax totals are estimated to be $1.5 million annually, the release said.
The city will reinvest 60% of the property taxes back into the project for 30 years through a tax increment reinvestment zone that will pay for public infrastructure like fields, roads, utilities and garages, the release said. It said Hutto will also generate additional revenue from gate entry fees as well as receive revenue from the hotel room occupancy tax, local sponsorships and a hotel rebate program.
Perfect Game plans to host a grand opening tournament no later than Memorial Day 2021, the release said. It said all fields are anticipated to be finished by that time. Wolverine Interests expects that the first residential project will also be completed by Memorial Day 2021, the release said.
“Perfect Game’s decision to locate in Hutto, just 25 minutes from Austin, is one of the most significant events in the sports tourism industry in the last 20 years,” said Dev Pathik, founder and CEO of Sports Facilities Advisory in a statement. “Combining an SFM events center and hotel was a natural fit and will turn Hutto into one of the top scouting destinations in America. The community programs offered by SFM and Perfect Game will improve access to sports for local citizens. It is a true win, win, win.”
Hutto City Manager Odis Jones said in the release that “Perfect Game is a game changer in terms of diversifying our tax base, in particular, our tourism, hotel and convention business. It will benefit Hutto and the Central Texas region by infusing $200 million annually in direct spending to our local community, creating demand for more than 150,000 hotel room nights, and bringing Hutto a 13,000-seat indoor sports arena.”
Perfect Game founder Jerry Ford said in the release that his organization looks “forward to helping Hutto achieve its economic and community goals.”
According to Perfect Game’s website, the business “promotes the game of baseball now and in the future by hosting the highest quality amateur events while providing meaningful opportunities and information to players, families, MLB organizations, college coaches, and fans.”
It is the largest baseball showcase organization in the country and has seen 11,623 players drafted by Major League Baseball, and 1,234 major league players get their start through Perfect Game tournaments, the website said.