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What’s next for the RP Funding Center?

With news of the Lakeland Magic, Florida Tropics, and the RP Funding Center’s executive director leaving, we’re putting you in the director’s seat.

An exterior aerial view of the RP Funding Center in Lakeland, FL

What do you think should come to the RP Funding Center next?

Photo by @rpfundingcenter

Table of Contents

The RP Funding Center is in for some big changes. The Lakeland Magic — now the Osceola Magicannounced their move to Kissimmee earlier this month, and the Florida Tropics are not planning to play their next season in Lakeland either.

Also leaving the RP Funding Center is executive director Tony Camarillo, who told the city on Friday, April 21 that he plans to resign in May to take a position with the Orange County Convention Center.

The City of Lakeland has a vested interest in the center’s success: It paid a $2.8 million+ subsidy last year to fund its operations. City commissioners have planned to cut that number to $1.6 million by 2027.

According to Tony, the departure of the Magic and the Tropics would help finances at the RP Funding Center more than it would hinder them. With fewer sports games on the schedule, more profitable events can be planned.

That’s where you come in. With an opening in the leadership office, we’re inviting you to be the director — at least, in your imagination. If you were in charge, what kind of events and attractions would you like to see at the RP Funding Center?

Maybe you’d like to see another team play its games there, or perhaps you’re a music fan hoping for a concert series. Whatever it is, we’d like to know your ideas (even your wildest dreams). Send yours in and we may share them.

What you said

Over 300 of our readers and followers offered suggestions for what they would like to see next at the RP Funding Center.

The most popular choices were more concerts, an ice hockey team, Broadway-style shows, and an indoor sports complex. Here are a few more of your suggestions:

“Concerts, comedy shows, musicals, plays. Bring the ARTS!” — Cammie W.

“Massive pickle ball complex???” — Brad S.

“Swan city roller derby! This Lakeland womens sports team is looking for a home. Derby bouts at RP would be very welcome!!” — Anne S.

“Turn it into a Performing Arts Center so it can be the pillar of the arts in the community of Lakeland. Let it aim to be the city’s cultural home for immersive theatre, music and dance.” — @allysonmlewis

“Lakeland Chef Competition” — Lucas R.

“More music concerts like Classic Albums Live, dances, sport venues. Lakeland needs more entertainment for adults” — @lindahite

“There have been some great (RnB) concerts in this venue. It would be nice not to have to go so far all the time. Bring some comedy shows to town. I would definitely buy tickets.” — Olivia S.

“Comedians, podcasts, Ted Talks educational events, authors speaking or… renovate it to an indoor sports complex that draws people in from Tampa and Orlando, etc.” — @christypascoe

Upcoming events

You don’t have to wait to see what’s coming next to the RP Funding Center — its calendar is already stacked. Tickets are available for these events and more happening this summer.

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