FREDERICA, Del. - A long-awaited sports complex is open and ready for business.
Officials with the DE Turf Sports Complex announced a sponsorship with M&T Bank on Monday after breaking ground on the Bay Road property in May 2016. It is considered one of the largest multi-purpose sports facilities on the East Coast.
Nick Lambrow, president of the Delaware region for M&T Bank, says the company chose to sponsor the complex, dubbed “The Turf” by some, because of their community focus. The three-year sponsorship includes naming one of the fields as the official M&T Bank Field.
“The Turf is a great example of true asset for this community. A lot of athletes will be coming here today, a lot of memories. A lot of careers will actually be built here,” says Lambrow. “Plus, it’s a large economic impact for not only Kent County, but for the Delaware state.”
The complex includes 12 synthetic fields, according to executive director Chris Giacomucci.
“We have an AstroTurf based product, so it has the crumb rubber in-fill which allows for more bounce as you’re running,” Giacomucci explains. “It allows for protection from injuries, so we’re excited. Our fields have really turned out beautifully.”
The facility is largely in the business of hosting travel tournaments, with an expected projection of 18 million dollars into the Delaware economy.
District 17 Senator Brian Bushweller says economic benefits were the primary motivation behind the project; however, at a press conference Monday, he told 47ABC it’s not the only motivation.
“There’s also another great aspect to it and that is, it’s going to highlight for local youth, the value of and the fun of and the great experiences you can have in these rectangular field sports of lacrosse, and soccer and field hockey,” says Senator Bushweller.
According to Giacomucci, the economic driver touted by officials already appears promising. The complex has been hosting sports clinics since early April; however, they are preparing to host their first official tournament on the weekend of April 15.
“Starting Wednesday, we have 85 field hockey teams coming in and spending the whole Easter weekend here in Kent County, staying at the hotels in Miflord, all the way up to Dover, all over the place,” he says.
An official ribbon-cutting is scheduled for May 13.
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