A major addition to the Palm Beach County sports scene is coming soon, and a current NFL linebacker is leading the charge.
NFL linebacker Jon Bostic, who starred at Palm Beach Central High and the Florida Gators, is at the forefront of a plan to build a state-of-the-art sports complex in Wellington called the Wellington Sports Academy. Bostic, who played for the NFL’s Washington Commanders the last four seasons and is now a free agent, said it will be the biggest facility of its kind in the state.
The complex, which is being built through a partnership between Bostic’s private ownership group, Wellington Athletics LLC, and the city of Wellington, will be located on a 17.2 acre site at Wellington Community Park. The plans were approved by the Wellington village council last year, and the expected price tag is $38 million, with Bostic and his partners contributing $5 million. The village will pay for the rest through bonds.
The complex, which is expected to be about 127,000 square feet, is expected to open in August 2024. Groundbreaking is planned for July.
The Academy will include a multipurpose outdoor field for football, soccer and lacrosse, seven indoor basketball courts, 13 indoor volleyball courts, full-sized baseball and softball fields, and a 9,706 square-foot indoor baseball and softball facility with eight batting cages.
The complex will also include multiple training facilities, including a 13,511-square-foot weight room, a 6,687-square-foot performance gym and a 6,551-square foot cheerleading gym. To keep athletes healthy, the complex will include a recovery center with hot tubs, cold tubs and a sauna, plus a physical therapy office and a chiropractic office, Bostic said.
“To be able to have everything under one roof is one of the most important parts of this,” Bostic told the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “This is a one-stop shop. You do not have to go all over the place to get everything. … You can’t really find good rehab and physical therapy and good training under one roof.”
The academy will also try to attract professional prospects to train at the facility.
Bostic said he first had the idea for an athletics facility nine years ago, shortly after he began playing in the NFL.
“I always said if I got the right location, then this would be something I wanted to do,” said Bostic.
Bostic partnered with fellow Palm Beach Central alumni to get the project moving. Devon Travis (formerly of the Toronto Blue Jays) and Pat O’Donnell (a punter who played for the Miami Hurricanes and Chicago Bears and now punts for the Green Bay Packers) are also involved.
“Devon and I go all the way back,” Bostic said. “We played baseball and basketball together.”
The new athletic complex will cater to the whole community. It will feature athletic academies in 12 sports for children and teenagers, and it will also include a members-only gym.
Bostic said the Academy will host club teams that will provide training for youth athletes in their respective sports. They plan to include travel teams that could face teams from around the country.
“It’s really about building a good foundation from the time these kids are 5, 6 years old and being with the same coaches throughout their careers,” Bostic said. “When they get to high school, these kids are going to be ready to go.”
Bostic said the Academy is working to bring in high-profile coaches to work with the club teams.
“We’re not just looking for somebody that’s just gone and done something really well,” Bostic said. “We want people that are actually good teachers that can help build a foundation for these kids.”