Mecklenburg County Sportsplex features 12 fields, stadium

03/24/2013 12:00 AM

03/24/2013 3:14 PM

Mecklenburg County officials will provide residents with an update Monday on the Mecklenburg County Sportsplex , along with information on how residents can register for tournaments.

The sportsplex will feature 12 multi-use fields for sports including soccer, lacrosse, baseball and rugby, as well as a stadium that can seat up to 7,000 people.

Workers currently are in phase one of the development, which includes five multipurpose artificial-turf fields. Phase one is expected to be complete by summer.

“It’s coming along tremendously,” Matthews Mayor Jim Taylor said. “It looks like they’re about to put down Astroturf on all five fields.”

During Monday’s meeting, county staff will update residents on plans to host practices, games and tournaments at the facility. The staff also will discuss general information about operations.

Neighboring Stallings officials have discussed building their own sports complex in recent years. Initial plans mentioned multiple baseball fields, several soccer fields, a potential indoor basketball/volleyball facility and a swimming facility; however, it’s not clear when that sports complex would be developed.

The $34 million sports complex in Matthews, in the works for nearly a decade, will be off Interstate 485 near the Independence Boulevard interchange and adjacent to a possible mixed-use family entertainment complex.

The county pledged $32 million toward the project’s construction, with Matthews committing $2 million.

Mecklenburg County officials said they’re now accepting requests for tournaments scheduled Sept. 7 to June 29, 2014, at the Matthews facility.

All weekend tournament requests are due by close of business April 8. From there, officials will attend tournament director’s meeting to hold a drawing for weekend tournament dates.

Residents can also submit weekday use requests through the close of business April 15.

Taylor said he’s thrilled about the new fields because there are not as many soccer and rugby fields in the area as there are baseball and softball fields.

“Every soccer organization in the greater Charlotte area has come forward wanting to be some kind of participant in the use of that field,” Taylor said.

James Alsop, division director for enterprise services with the Mecklenburg Park and Recreation Department, said the new fields also will alleviate pressure on the county’s many grass fields, including those at Colonial Francis Beatty Park and Flat Branch Park.

“It will help ease the maintenance programs for those grass fields and also help increase field capacity,” Alsop said.

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