The first of Sugar Land’s new wayfinding signs was installed just in time for opening day at Constellation Field on April 26.
It’s one way Sugar Land is helping to ensure that seats are filled in the City’s new professional minor league baseball stadium.
Constellation Field was funded with a portion of sales tax revenues that may only be used for economic development purposes. No general fund tax dollars will be spent on the stadium.
A cost-benefit analysis performed by Conventions, Sports & Leisure International conservatively estimates the project will generate annual economic activity of approximately $7.7 million or a net return of $169 million over 30 years on the City’s investment. The stadium has the potential of attracting more than 300,000 visitors per year. This will benefit hotels, restaurants and other retail establishments, keeping local entertainment expenditures (sales tax and Hotel Occupancy Tax revenues) within Sugar Land and Fort Bend County.
While the signs benefit the stadium, the wayfinding project serves a much larger purpose. In July 2010, City Council approved a community Wayfinding sign program to provide directions to Sugar Land’s major destinations. It’s part of Sugar Land’s ongoing efforts to establish the City as a destination-location and fuel the regional economy.
The first of the 40 signs will be installed throughout the year along state highways, guiding motorists to destinations such as Constellation Field, the Sugar Land Museum of Natural Science, Sugar Land Town Square and more. The signs will also be placed along City thoroughfares during a later phase of the project.
“A community’s character is determined by the perceptions and experiences of those who live, work and shop there, as well as those passing through,” said Assistant Public Works Director David Worley. “Urban design enhances a community’s character, and having a comprehensive wayfinding system is a key component for directing residents and visitors to civic, cultural and recreational destinations.”
A total of 26 destinations are included in the wayfinding system with plans to expand the program to include future major destinations such as an indoor concert venue. Current destinations include Sugar Land Regional Airport, First Colony Mall, parks, libraries, colleges, hospitals, hotels and more.
The $250,000 cost for the first 40 signs is funded with Hotel Occupancy Tax, funds that must be used to promote tourism. To complete the comprehensive wayfinding system, the City plans to install about 20 more signs when funding becomes available.
“This comprehensive citywide wayfinding signage program will provide clear guidance to visitors and residents in reaching major destinations,” said Worley. “The end result will be a consistent visual system that creates a unifying identity and brand for the City of Sugar Land.”