Sandhill Fields celebrates one year of being open, economic impact on community

GEORGETOWN, Del. – It’s been a year since the Sandhill Fields athletic complex opened to the public in Georgetown. So far, it looks like the complex has already made an impact on the community.

“We’re just shy of $1 million. That’s our estimate for the economic impact of the tournaments and events that we’ve had this past year,” said Sandhill Fields General Manager Brad Leinbach.

However, Leinbach says they could have seen $500,000 more if some tournaments and events hadn’t been canceled because of COVID-19. But looking past the pandemic, complex officials have big expectations moving forward.

“We’re trying to get the word out about our facility with the tournament directors, the various clubs, throughout the East Coast, and throughout our region. As we progress and mature, we certainly plan to host more events, thus increasing the impact,” said Leinbach.

The complex is home to eight athletic fields, six pickleball courts, and a walking trail. Chairman of the Board of Sussex Sports Center Foundation Joseph Schell says the facilities have been a huge hit with locals. “If you go out there in the morning at 8:30 or 9 o’clock in the morning, you’ll see all of the courts used for the next two or three hours. So, we’re very happy to be discovered as another place to play pickleball,” said Schell.

Complex officials also say athletes and their families are also responding well to the complex.

“They want to host home tournaments. They’ve been going out of state, or to some other place in the state,” said Schell. Leinbach added, “We see more and more people out there on a daily basis. When we talk about clubs and organized sports specifically, we’ve seen their enrollment and their participation skyrocket.”

Looking ahead, Schell says the foundation has their eyes on even more plans for the complex.

“Sussex Sports Center Foundation is going to undertake the construction of a field house – a brand new field house – which is another thing we really don’t have in Sussex County,” said Schell.

Schell says that field house would include indoor playing fields and rubberized sports courts. Before complex officials can move forward with that, they would need approval from Georgetown.

Categories: Delaware, Local News