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New Holly Springs athletic complex could generate millions, boost economy

Posted March 3, 2015

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— A new Holly Springs athletic complex could generate millions in annual income to the local economy, officials said.

The North Main Athletic Complex, located near Interstate 540 and N.C. Highway 55, is set to open in May. Officials say expectations are high for the complex, not only for what it will provide athletes, but for the revenue it will bring to the town.

"We look to this complex to contribute about $6.5 million annually to the local area," said Mayor Dick Sears.

With high expectations, Sears said it would take three years to offset the $19 million project.

"All the businesses along 55 Main Street and the bypass are going to have a great relish for this thing because it is going to increase traffic," he said.

Justine Carter, who regularly drives by the unfinished complex, has taken note of the progress.

"We are very excited for when it opens," she said.

Carter's daughter plays for the Wake Futbol Club, one of many teams that will soon play on the complex grounds.

"It is going to be a great opportunity because it is going to be local and we won't have to travel as much," she said.

In total, the complex will include 12 adult and youth tennis courts, two soccer fields, a baseball field, and outdoor basketball courts.

"A dad and a son, or a dad and a daughter can come and play out in the stadium in the morning, and then be able to come out to the stadium that night and watch a baseball game," said town Parks and Recreation Director Len Bradley.

Builders are currently in phase two of the project and construction is expected to be completed by May, officials said.

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  • Mike Berthold Mar 4, 2015
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    The Holy Springs Salamanders will be the primary occupants. They are a new summer collegiate team with a whopping 2 players at this time. That is about it. The county put up $1 million and the remaining $19.5 million came from the town reserves and bond issues within the town itself. $8.3 million of the bonds issued were done so as limited obligation bonds so they didn't have to get voter approval. Guessing they didn't think they'd get it since we had just approved a massive parks and rec bond a couple of years before.

  • Roy Hinkley Mar 4, 2015
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    Holly Springs lists the currently known uses on their website. Apparently there will be typical city use (parks and rec) and a Collegiate Summer team (The Salamanders).

  • Doug Hanthorn Mar 4, 2015
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    P.S. I'm assuming that the actual field will have similar seating to that shown in that artist's concept.

  • Doug Hanthorn Mar 4, 2015
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    So, who is going to play baseball on the baseball field? The photo makes it look like it might bake a nice low-A or rookie league park. Are colleges going to use it? High school teams?

  • Mike Berthold Mar 4, 2015
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    Pete, you and I both know that the numbers are complete garbage. Once people attempt to start attending events here and experience the traffic mess that is 55 Bypass with its "super street" configuration and Main street, they will have to revise these to more realistic numbers. Their overly optimistic attendance figures are as well throughout as their thinking that Rhamkatte Village will not have any impact on services or traffic on Holly Springs rd or Sunset Ridge. Time for some new people in office here in town.

  • Josh Anderson Mar 4, 2015
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    This is nothing but a puff piece. This project has been ongoing for some time and a report comes out about it now? Gotta fill air time, I guess.

  • Roy Hinkley Mar 4, 2015
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    The wording in this article is a bit fussy, but they aren't saying that the project costs will be paid off in three years.

    In fact, much of the money for the project is coming from the issuance of municipal bonds, so you're looking at a longer payback timeframe on those.

    As for the economic impact, I can't say for sure in this case, but it is pretty typical for an economic impact study to be conducted very early on, well before the bonds are put before voters for approval.

  • Peter Villadsen Mar 4, 2015
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    It would be nice if the reporter ascertained how the Town of Holly Springs came up with the $6.5 million economic impact. In addition, how much goes to Holly Springs versus Wake County or nearby towns? Finally, even if you assume that high end number is feasible (and that each visitor drops $147, a number based on the Town's own figure for number of visitors in a year), how do you pay that off in three years without factoring in the cost of running the complex? The reporter should ask, and the Town should provide, a complete breakdown of how the numbers are determined.

  • Marlan Fagan Mar 4, 2015
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    I love tennis and I play several times a week in Fuquay. Is there enough demand to justify 12 courts at this new complex? It sure would be nice if we could get the folks over in Fuquay to support the four courts that we have at Action Park. Those are heavily used by us locals and in poor shape most of the time.