Funding approved for new $193 million Cary indoor sports complex

Wake County News

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) — Cary Towne Center will be getting a face-lift in the form of a new multi-million dollar indoor sports complex.

Funding was approved Monday by the Wake County Board of Commissioners during its regular meeting.

The board voted unanimously to spend up to $2.36 million per year for 25 years to fund construction of the 100,000-square-foot facility. These funds would come from revenue generated by county taxes on overnight stays in local hotels and food and drinks purchased at local restaurants. 

“The hospitality tax would provide about $35 million of the project’s estimated $193 million cost,” said Wake County Commissioner Susan Evans. “This would be money well spent, because we don’t have anything like this facility in the county now, and I’m very excited about the new opportunities it would provide. The location is ideal.”

The Town of Cary would build, operate and manage the complex with additional financing coming from limited obligation bonds and corporate partners.

Plans for the complex include: 

  • 25,000 square feet of multi-purpose space 
  • 12 full-sized basketball courts (could convert to 20 full-sized 
  • volleyball courts)
  • Arena seating for 4,000
  • Esports amenities 
  • Full-service restaurant 
  • Elevated walkway 
  • Childcare space 
  • Weight room, workout space and walking track

The facility would focus on drawing highly competitive tournaments and activities that would attract regional and national participants and drive overnight visitation to Wake County. 

The facility would take up roughly five of the 38 acres, according to a Town fo Cary spokesperson.

Karen and Charles Michener have lived in the neighborhood behind Cary Towne Center for nine years. The couple has seen stores shutter and new owners explore other options for the land.

“I walked around at Christmastime to do some shopping and was surprised how much it changed compare to last Christmas,” said Charles Michener.

The Micheners said they supported plans to bring an Ikea to the area, but strongly opposed a proposal for a Top Golf. Neither plan came to fruition.

“The lights were bright. It was (an) invasion to the neighborhood. It was late nights (and) a lot of traffic,” Michener said.

They think the sporting complex would be a good fit for the area and would engage kids in local sports programs.

“I know that people are always saying ‘not in my backyard,’ but in order for the community to grow, there’s going to be growing pains,” said Michener.

Next Steps

The Raleigh City Council will consider the town’s funding request for the complex at its meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 18. If the city joins the county in approving the agreement, the staff would then work with Cary to finalize the scope of the project. 

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