ASHEBORO, N.C. — Asheboro will soon be home to another major attraction.
City officials said the $15 million dollar Zoo City Sportsplex is set to open early next year.
The project has been in the works since 2008 when the city purchased the first piece of property. Construction began in 2020.
"We expanded the project, we made it a bigger project for a more regional, Piedmont Triad draw than just Asheboro or Randolph County," City Manager John Ogburn said.
The 100-acre complex will include:
- Eight full-size athletic fields that can be used for soccer, football and lacrosse
- Six beach volleyball courts
- Four pickleball courts
- A dog park
- Walking trails
- A playground
- Picnic shelters
- Concessions and restrooms
Each athletic field has synthetic turf and lighting. The Randolph-Asheboro YMCA will run its soccer and beach volleyball programs at the park when it's finished.
"These soccer fields can handle three inches of rain and within 20 minutes after it stops, you can play on it," YMCA Director Patrick O'Hara said. "We have grass fields at the YMCA. If it rains 3 inches, we can’t play for five days. It’s mud out there."
The site will also be able to host community events and tournaments.
"We're gonna have football jamborees down here, we’re gonna have concerts, we hope to build an amphitheater," O'Hara said. "We’ve already talked to a company about doing some Christmas lights down here."
The hope is that the complex will team up well with other projects in the area.
Toyota is building a manufacturing plant at the Greensboro-Randolph Megasite that could bring thousands of jobs.
The North Carolina Zoo will break ground next week on a new Asian continent exhibit.
Ogburn and O'Hara hope those projects will bring more people traveling and even moving to Asheboro.
"We could host a 40-team tournament over three or four days, have a zoo pass in there for your off days. Come to Asheboro go to the zoo, play soccer," Ogburn said. "Go out to our revitalized downtown at night and enjoy yourself."
The first three fields at the complex are set to be finished by September.
The Sportsplex is set to open in spring 2023 and O'Hara said they already have a soccer tournament scheduled for March.