Goldsboro will spend nearly $1 million on 2 soccer fields

GOLDSBORO, N.C. (WNCN) - Goldsboro is going to spend nearly $1 million for two soccer fields as part the city's new multi-sport complex.

The city council voted Monday in support of a $935,165 contract for two artificial turf fields which will join six grass fields at the park scheduled to open in Spring 2018.

"It was a hard pill to swallow sometimes, but it is the quality of life and it's something that we think we'll get a return on," council member Gene Aycock said. "We may not make money, but I don't think we're going to lose much money on it either. I think that over the future that it's going to be money well spent."

City manager Scott Stevens said the large investment should be worthwhile and pay dividends in the long run. He said the synthetic turf is a lot more money up-front than grass but maintenance costs are lower over the life-cycle of the field and it also allows for play during the winter.

Stevens said the goal is to attract teams from across the state and region for competition throughout the year.

"When the grass grows from April to October, and it doesn't grow from October to April, when you play on it in the winter, you tear it up, and it doesn't get better. The astroturf doesn't have that issue. If you have high volume of play, grass field's wear and tear on those is difficult. On the astroturf, wear and tear is not difficult in terms of messing up the field service," he said.

"The whole premise on building a really high-quality facility is having facilities that our kids get to use all week long," Stevens said, and "to bring in weekend tournaments and outside dollars so that our commerce grows based on the sports tourism industry that's very common and very profitable in North Carolina."

The city manager said an added appeal of the Goldsboro complex is the backdrop of the Air Force base and having F-15E jets flying overhead.

The park's first tournament has 68 teams on-board for games at the 62-acre complex. It can also host football, lacrosse, field hockey, and ultimate Frisbee.

Goldsboro already has some designated disc golf courses, and players including Bo Donnelley are excited for another park and more disc sports.

"That's awesome. It'd be good for the community, good for all of the youth programs coming up," Donnelley said. "If you can get the youth growing up in a better situation, as opposed to running around and being knuckleheads, it's all good."

Councilman Aycock said the new park will also give Goldsboro an opportunity to share more of its community and attractions with outsiders.

"What most people see of Goldsboro is the bypass, and don't get to see what Goldsboro has to offer. They don't get to see the beautiful downtown, and we want them to come and enjoy the people of Goldsboro and Wayne County," Aycock said.

The city is leasing the land from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. Learn more about the partnership here.

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