On Wednesday, November 14 the official ribbon cutting ceremony to kick off the Kent County Regional Sports Complex just North of Milford on Route 1 was held on the future site that will hold the 15 field facility. Master of Ceremonies Bill Strickland, President of the Greater Dover Committee that was instrumental in getting this project off the ground, chronicled the three year process of making this idea a reality and introduced key individuals to their current success.
Speakers at Wednesday’s event included Alan Levin, Director of the Delaware Economic Development Office, State Senator Brian Bushweller and Kent County Commissioner Brooks Banta. Olympian Carrie Lingo, a Rehoboth Beach native and former member of the USA Women’s National Field Hockey Team, was also on hand for the event.
“This complex will not only be a youth sports venue but also an economic engine for Kent County and our state,” commented Strickland during his opening remarks on Wednesday. “What is most impressive to me is that this complex is projected to have an economic impact of more than $18 million annually in Delaware. This is what can happen when businesses, government and communities work together.”
As a premiere location for regional soccer, lacrosse and field hockey events, including 10 major annual sports tournaments, the Kent County Regional Sports Complex is projected to create 180 construction jobs during the first year of the project and more than 2,000 jobs during tournaments and camps. According to a study by the University of Delaware this will equal 210 full-time continuing jobs.
Several key players have partnered to make this complex a reality in the near future. Kent County Levy Court has donated 100 acres of land which is located across Route 1 from Meding’s Seafood while the Delaware Infrastructure fund has committed $3.2 to the project. Other entities including the Delaware Economic Development Office, The Greater Dover Committee and several Kent County legislators were critical in moving the Kent County Regional Sports Complex forward.
Among the key players recognized during Wednesday’s ceremony were Linda Parkowski, Director of Delaware Tourism, and Cindy Small, Executive Director of Kent County Tourism for their continued effort of developing the idea of the centrally located sports complex.
“This project has taken a group of people to believe,’ commented Ms. Parkowski. “…civic-minded people and government officials to believe that Kent County can be a hub for sports for the entire Mid-Atlantic region.”
The new sports complex will include an indoor facility and 15 fields, which will host mainly soccer, lacrosse and field hockey events and could draw up to 10 major annual sports tournaments. According to demographic research done by the Greater Dover Committee, the size of the future sports complex will allow it to compete not only for sports tournaments in the local and regional market but the entire Mid-Atlantic market, which includes a 120 minute radius and 9.93 million individuals.The multipurpose facility will become a hub for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse when it is completed and ready for play sometime in 2014.