COCOA BEACH --
The mayor of Cocoa Beach is hoping to build on the city'' reputation as the East Coast capital of surfing by proposing the world's first surfing arena.
Now that the Washington Nationals are close to leaving Brevard County, its longtime spring training headquarters, Mayor Dave Netterstrom says money from the ballpark could help fund the project.
Netterstrom is pushing for the tax money that's currently raised to keep up Space Coast Stadium to be transferred to a municipal pier at Cocoa Beach.
There's already the privately-owned Cocoa Beach pier, but the mayor says a new city pier would be built to enhance waves, creating the world's first surfing stadium.
Netterstrom said he hopes it would attract more surfing competitions, but the city would need millions of dollars, and he's hoping the county's bed tax could help.
"Since a majority of the bed tax is generated from the Cocoa Beach area, it seems like an investment back into the Cocoa Beach area would ultimately generate higher bed tax revenue for the entire county," said Netterstrom.
The mayor said the extra cent that goes to Space Coast Stadium could generate $1.5 million a year for the Cocoa Beach project.
Possible locations being considered are Lori Wilson Park, or at the end of the Minutemen Causeway.
Brevard County Commission Chairman Robin Fisher said he's trying to get an amateur sports association to take over Space Coast Stadium when the Nationals leave in a couple of years.
He says as of right now, that extra cent from the tax will stay to maintain Space Coast Stadium and its training fields