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Hotelier, NBA star to build $7M multi-sport complex in Hato Rey

Hotelier and businessman Ricky Newman and NBA star José Juan Barea have teamed up to build a $7 million multi-sport complex with lodging located at the former facilities of the Nuestra Señora de la Merced school in Hato Rey, they announced.

The sports development complex called JUMP Sports Development Center is a multi-use facility consisting of indoor and outdoor spaces. The project that spans five acres of land, will provide “exceptional and high caliber sports training while endorsing sports tourism in Puerto Rico.”

“JUMP has been a project that I’ve been working on since 2014. Then I presented it to José Juan and his family to unite our knowledge and talents to make my dream a reality,” said Newman. “We both agreed that there was a need to provide a quality, multidisciplinary sports facilities under one roof.”

JUMP is being financed by Banco Popular de Puerto Rico and consists of 100,000 square feet of space to house basketball courts, volleyball courts, beach volleyball, beach tennis, a rehabilitation center, training rooms, outdoor soccer field, hotel rooms, retail and sports equipment store and a food and beverage venue.

“At Banco Popular we’re extremely enthusiastic in supporting projects like this one, that provide economic and community impact where an existing facility will be converted into a purposeful project for sports development for our youth,” said Eli Sepulveda, executive vice president of Commercial Credit at Banco Popular. “We support innovative projects like this that are privately funded and contribute to the communities they serve.”

It is expected that the construction of JUMP, a joint business venture between PRSC, LLC, headed by Newman, and SPORTLANGE, LLC. headed by Barea, will start this month and the first stage should be completed by Fall 2022.

Newman’s experience in the hotel industry and sports tourism adds value to the project, since the top floor of the facility will be converted into a hotel so the players can stay in a safe, convenient, and cost-effective environment.

The hotel will serve to house athletes who seek to train and stay in the same place so they can focus on training without interruptions and without having to travel to another facility.

“The sports complex will provide athletes the appropriate training support, regardless of physical condition, capacity or sports history,” said Barea. “Everyone has an inner athlete and at JUMP we will focus on helping them find theirs.”

The Certified Athletic Trainers at JUMP will help athletes find correct methods to develop their maximum potential. They will instruct on how to use energy and movement through the development of athletic fundamentals and the maximization of skills.

The complex is called JUMP, as it describes “a fundamental part of a person’s gross motor skills; at the same time, jump is one of the most explosive movements executed in sports,” the proponents said.

Puerto Rico is a sports tourism mecca
Over the years, Puerto Rico has become an attractive destination for sports tourism. Besides large-scale events like the Puerto Rico Open, FIBA tournaments, Caribbean Series, among others, an opportunity has been identified to develop and grow youth and collegiate sports.

Universities of all sports divisions have travelled to Puerto Rico to train offseason, conduct group and individual clinics, practice games, tournaments, and youth competitions of all levels.

“Large-scale sports events have significant economic impact, and it attracts people with healthy spending levels used in hotel stays, food and beverage, transportation, side excursions, among others,” Newman said. “That is why JUMP will provide an opportunity to present more sports events where Puerto Rico can be a recurring host site.”

Barea, who has practiced sports since his youth, said he realized that there was a need in Puerto Rico for a concept that offered several sports under one roof.

“JUMP offers athletes of all ages and skills set the opportunity to come and improve,” Barea said. “We will provide athletes of all ages and levels the capacity to develop their abilities in a multitude of sports.”

Author Details
Author Details
Business reporter with 29 years of experience writing for weekly and daily newspapers, as well as trade publications in Puerto Rico. My list of former employers includes Caribbean Business, The San Juan Star, and the Puerto Rico Daily Sun, among others. My areas of expertise include telecommunications, technology, retail, agriculture, tourism, banking and most other segments of Puerto Rico’s economy.

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