Extraco Event Center expansion aims for May election ballot

Posted: 10:42 PM, Jan 27, 2017
Updated: 2017-01-28 04:59:31Z

McLennan County voters may get the chance to decide whether Extraco Event Center in Waco will get a $34 million dollar expansion.

McLennan County Commissioner's Court approved the proposal Tuesday. President and CEO of Extraco Event Center Wes Allison said the project is meant to make capital improvements to the facility as well as attract more events and activities. "It's a 34 million dollar project that will not only increase and improve equine and livestock activities but also to build a flat floor space, what we would call an expo center," Allison said.

Inside the center, they are looking to expand the number of stalls and heating centers for the equine center. Plans also include space for athletic tournaments, including basketball and volleyball. The improvements won't be limited to the building, though. Part of the proposal includes replacing Waco High School's Tyson Field. 

Even with all of these improvements, Allison said paying for them won't come out of the city's pocket, "The good thing about this project is it does not cost the taxpayers."

The money instead would come from a 2% tax increase for hotels and motels and a 5% increase on rental cars. Allison said their intent is to create an economic impact; with more people coming to compete, it means more people eating, shopping and staying in Waco.

"Our community really is a tourism destination, and it's a destination that has an opportunity for people to really enjoy," Allison said. 

If approved by the Texas Comptroller in February, the proposal will be added to the May election ballot. 

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