Public gives input on new Wilmington Sports Complex

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Wilmington is on its way to having a brand new sports complex, and Wednesday evening, the community got a chance to give feedback on potential designs.

The sports complex was approved by voters as a part of the 2016 Parks Bond, and will be built on 30 acres at the existing Cape Fear Regional Soccer Park off Highway 421. The public was able to give their input on three potential designs at City Hall.

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“The goal, really, is to get public input on the designs that they’ve developed so far, as well as the identification of amenities that the public would like to see at the complex,” said Wilmington Recreation Program Specialist Marian Doherty. “Whether it’s a playground, or picnic shelter, or shade, or concessions, those kind of things.”

The $10 million project will add as many as eight fields to the existing park, and they won’t just be soccer fields. The new sports complex will serve multiple sports like soccer, lacrosse, football, ultimate frisbee, and more.

“I’d like to see some beach volleyball courts to be honest with you, I think that would be great,” said Erik Kirstein, who came to give his input. “There’s not too many around the area, so I think having a few more of those would be fantastic.”

The three current designs don’t differ greatly from one another. One design removes a field in favor of more parking, and the traffic flow varies slightly among the designs. All three plans include one synthetic turf field.

Those who use the existing fields are excited for the future of the complex.

“On top of the quality of the fields, it’ll be able to pull more players in,” said Wilmington Hammerheads Youth club member Chloe Leffler. “I know myself was pulled in like two, three years ago, and the expansion of the fields will also allow the expansion of the club.”

“We’re a smaller club right now, and expanding the fields and allowing more tournaments and stuff to be played here, because of the size that we’re going to have, it’s going to be a big deal, I think, for the club,” said Leffler’s teammate, Isabella Ellison.

Construction is set to begin in late 2021. If you didn’t make it out to Wednesday’s meeting and you’d like to give your input, there is an online survey you can take.