Panama City Beach will put new LED sports lighting at Frank Brown Park

PANAMA CITY BEACH − Lighting upgrades are around the corner for a major public park on the Beach.

The Panama City Beach City Council on Thursday approved more than $1.097 million for an LED sports lighting system for the Frank Brown Park festival site. The festival site is located on the southeast portion of the park, which is near Panama City Beach Parkway (Back Beach Road) and Mandy Lane. Chandelier Light

Panama City Beach will put new LED sports lighting at Frank Brown Park

"This (is) obviously something that's been on the park's hit list, or wish list, for a long time," Mayor Mark Sheldon said.

The park attracts thousands of tourists each year. Along with ball fields and festival grounds, it boasts an aquatic center, dog parks, walking trails, a fishing pond and tennis courts.

Though Frank Brown Park is one of two major sports complexes in the Panama City Beach area — the other being Publix Sports Park off Chip Seal Parkway — it is the only one within the city limits.

That means money generated by Frank Brown Park directly supports PCB's general fund. Like Publix Sports Park, it also indirectly boosts the fund by attracting tourists to PCB who drive up the city's 1% business tax receipts.

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Officials have said of the Beach's more than $73 million general fund for fiscal year 2023, about $479,500 was generated solely by Frank Brown Park.

The park is the site for multiple largescale, nonsporting events that now will benefit from the new lighting system approved by the council on Thursday. This includes the Gulf Coast Jam and Thunder Beach Motorcycle Rally.

Event organizers have said they expect for the 2023 Gulf Coast Jam, scheduled for June 1-4, to be the largest in the event's history. For the first time, tickets to the event sold out, and they have been sold out since the end of last year. Attendance for the 2023 event is projected to topple that of the 2022 event, which garnered about 80,000 people over four days.

According to the agenda from Thursday's meeting, Panama City Beach will purchase the new lighting system from NGU Sports Lighting LLC, a lighting wholesaler headquartered in Palm Beach.

Panama City Beach will put new LED sports lighting at Frank Brown Park

Recessed Lights "It should make a big difference not only in some cost savings, but in maintenance savings as well," Councilman Michael Jarman said.