Plans Moving Ahead For New DE Sports Complex

Game Plan Set In Motion For Kent County Regional Sports Complex

 
November 15, 2012
 
The countdown to game time at the Mid-Atlantic’s next marquee sports complex has begun.

Officials gathered Nov. 14 at the site of the Kent County Regional
Sports Complex off Route 1 in Frederica to announce a slew of updates
and let the community know this major project is making some huge leaps
forward.

The Central Delaware Soccer Association has signed on to play its
games at the complex, which will boast 15 fields – including a
championship lit turf field with a capacity of 1,500 – and an indoor
complex. The multipurpose facility will become a hub for soccer, field
hockey and lacrosse when it is completed and ready for play sometime in
2014.

“We couldn’t think of a more perfect organization to one day call
this complex home,” said Bill Strickland, president of the Greater Dover
Committee. “The CDSA is the premier sports organization here in the
heart of Delaware, and moving into the Kent County Regional Sports
Complex will allow it to grow and have an even greater presence.”

The Kent County Regional Sports Complex, to be built on a 100-acre
parcel donated by Kent County, will be a recession-proof economic driver
that hosts at least 10 major annual sports tournaments, drawing players
and their families from throughout the region. It is projected to have
an economic impact of more than $18 million annually in Delaware.

“This vacant property we’re standing on now will one day be a place
where kids from all over the region become leaders and heroes,” said
Alan Levin, director of the Delaware Economic Development Office. “In
two years or so, families will be talking about the next big tournament
they’ll be traveling to in central Delaware. This is going to be huge
for tourism.”

The complex will also provide a boost for employment in central Delaware.

During the first year of the project, 180 construction jobs will be
created, and more than 2,000 jobs will be created during tournaments and
camps, which will equal 210 full-time continuing jobs, according to a
study by the University of Delaware.

“This is a great day for Kent County,” said Kent County Commissioner
Brooks Banta. “This complex not only adds an immediate boost to the
community but also projects out to sustain itself through any ups and
downs the economy might experience.”

Also at Wednesday’s event, dubbed the Kent County Regional Sports
Complex Kick-Off, it was announced that Dover-based Becker Morgan Group
has been brought on as project manager.

Officials said Becker Morgan will soon begin sending out requests for
proposals for concessionaires, an outdoor operator, a construction firm
and an executive director. Construction on infrastructure is slated to
begin in mid-2013.

“A lot of people have put a lot of work into this project,” said Sen.
Brian Bushweller, D-Dover-Central Kent, the lead legislative supporter
of the project since its inception. “And although there’s still work to
be done, it’s clear now that we are moving forward.”

A drum line from Delaware State University provided the musical
backdrop at Wednesday’s event as players from the CDSA tried the field
out, and Milford High School cheerleaders showed their Delaware spirit.

Olympian and Rehoboth Beach native Carrie Lingo, who played on the
2008 U.S. Women’s National Field Hockey Team and starred at Cape
Henlopen High School, was also on hand. She said that having a venue
like the Kent County Regional Sports Complex around would have been huge
for her as a young athlete.

“I would have been there every day,” Lingo said. “Not only is this
going to boost Delaware sports and help the local economy, but local
athletes are big winners as well.”

Meetings on the Kent County Regional Sports Complex began three years
ago and, in July, the Delaware Infrastructure Investment Committee
approved more than $3.2 million in state funding, which paved the way
for the project to move forward.

The Delaware Tourism Office , 99 Kings Highway in Dover, a division
of the Delaware Economic Development Office , promotes tourism and
economic growth in Delaware. For more information, go to the official
Delaware Tourism website at www.visitdelaware.com or call toll-free 866-284-7483.