Charlotte, N.C. — Woolpert, Mecklenburg County and the town of Matthews have kicked off the second and final phase of the $32 million Mecklenburg County Sportsplex at Matthews. When complete, the tournament-caliber athletic facility will have 12 lighted and irrigated sports fields, including a 2,700-seat championship grass field.
The first phase of the project, which was completed in 2013, included five multipurpose synthetic turf fields, a shelter and a playground. Since its debut, the Sportsplex has hosted a variety of soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey and rugby events. These have included practices, camps, games and tournaments, which have drawn teams from across the Southeast.
“With the championship field, we’re trying to create something unique that can be a really grand, regionally strong destination facility,” said Andrew Pack, practice leader for higher education and athletics at Woolpert. “When it’s complete, the site can host U.S. Youth Championship Soccer tournaments and other high-profile sporting events.”
Woolpert sought public input and conducted multiple community meetings before presenting its comprehensive Sportsplex plan to the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department and the town of Matthews.
"We are very excited about the project and its ability to address the park and recreation needs of our residents countywide,” said Jim Garges, director of Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. “The economic benefit from tournaments is a huge added bonus."
Woolpert — a national architecture, engineering and geospatial firm — provided planning, landscape architecture, architecture, civil engineering, surveying, geotechnical subsurface exploration, natural resource investigation and wetland delineation, permitting and administration for the project.
“The programming of the fields themselves required a balance, because we had to design them within strict state and local stormwater regulations,” Pack said. “Fortunately our team is very knowledgeable regarding stormwater, and we partnered with the county in a balanced approach to the project's development.”
The Sportsplex, which is expected to be complete in fall 2016, also will include several restroom buildings, shelters, walking trails, playgrounds, parking for 1,200 vehicles and a two-story field house. The field house will have amenities that range from locker rooms to catering space to a large meeting area, with covered balconies overseeing the championship field.
The general contractor for the Sportsplex is J.D. Goodrum Co.