Kent County Sports Complex Signs First Tournament - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Kent County Sports Complex Signs First Tournament

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The DE Turf Sports Complex. (Nick Layman/WBOC) The DE Turf Sports Complex. (Nick Layman/WBOC)

Frederica, Del. -- Kent County officials on Wednesday got a look at the DE Turf Sports Complex near Frederica, which is scheduled to host its first major event next year.

The 84-acre site, located off State Route 1, will host the College Connection's Shooting Star Field Hockey Tournament on Easter weekend in April 2017. Officials with the complex said they are in negotiations to bring other sporting events to the facility, which is also intended for lacrosse and soccer.

The $24-million complex will feature 12 synthetic turf fields and a 700-seat stadium intended for championship events, qualities that builders believe will attract teams and tournaments from major cities within a three hour radius of the facility, including Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

"That's really going to provide that stadium atmosphere under the lights on the championship side so we can really attract state championships hopefully as well as other opportunities," said Chris Giacomucci, executive director of the DE Turf Sports Complex.

Three directors of sports planning and programming were named for the complex, including three-time Field Hockey Olympian Rachel Dawson, Padua Academy Soccer Coach Joe Brown, and former Major League Lacrosse Player Jay Motta.

Kent County Levy Court  Commissioner George "Jody" Sweeney, who heads the said the complex means more than just a larger number of sporting events being held in the area. He thinks local businesses like hotels and restaurants will grow in the coming years because more people will be visiting them.

"When those businesses start to build, you look at...education and industry that comes in because of a facility like this, which just further drives economic development in the county," he said.

DE Turf officials also said in a news release that 200 jobs had been created through the construction process and claim $18 million could be added to the local economy each year.

The complex has been controversial at times, with some residents living nearby the facility saying they are concerned about traffic and pollution. DelDOT is constructing an overpass near the complex that will provide vehicle access. 

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