WACO, Texas – The nearly 200 million dollar Baylor basketball venue promises to bring great opportunities to the city of Waco.

The Paul and Alejandra Foster Basketball Pavilion will be built along Interstate 35 by the Brazos River.

“This project is going to be the largest economic development project in the city’s history. The cultural and economic impact of this is incredibly significant, and there’s also the commitment of Baylor, and the county, in the city working together,” says Mayor Dillon Meek.

The question is, why now?

“The city and Baylor have a long history of having a great partnership and a great relationship. And so I just think that this is just another step forward in that anchor commitment,” says Mayor Meek.

The City of Waco approves their portion of the project, 65 million dollars that is needed for the economic development. How will the city fund this contribution? In the outline drafted by the Baylor board of regents, it will not require a tax increase or take revenue from other initiatives such as pubic safety or street programs.

“Since 1982, we’ve had a fund that has existed to ensure that we can support capital investment in downtown,” says Mayor Meek.

Baylor agrees to provide $20 million over ten years for a performing arts center. And $500,000 to the steam center project.

“And what’s more important is our existing small businesses are going to benefit from that, too. We know that a robust downtown is necessary for a strong regional economy,” says Mayor Meek.

This new arena will be able to seat 75 hundred people, which is about a 25 hundred seat decrease from the Ferrell center. So fans are wondering why the downsize?

“We think it’s the right size for us, and, you know, our goal is to really fill that to capacity. Not just three or four games a year, but but every every single home game,” says Baylor Athletics Director Mack Rhoades.

Construction on the arena is expected to begin in March and be completed by the end of 2024.