Construction on the 12-field, all-turf complex near Frederica began last spring after an eight-year effort.
“We saw a need for a sports tourism destination in Delaware,” said Bill Strickland, chairman of the DE Turf Board of Directors. “That’s exactly what we now have. It’s an asset and economic driver not just for central Delaware but for the entire state.”
A feasibility study estimated DE Turf would have an economic impact of $18 million annually. That estimate was based on 10 events a year. To date, DE Turf has booked about 20 events in its first year.
The first major showcase for the complex, College Connections, brought 84 field hockey teams, more than 4,000 visitors, to Delaware over Easter weekend.
“Players, coaches and families are traveling from all over the East Coast to play at DE Turf,” said Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long. “While they’re here, they have a significant, positive impact on Delaware – eating at restaurants, staying at hotels, taking advantage of tax-free shopping and so much more.”
Despite the rain and the ribbon cutting, DE Turf hosted multiple tournaments and more than 50 teams Saturday, including a tournament originally scheduled for a different, grass facility.
“The weather today was ‘beautiful,’ because it allowed us to show what the complex was built to do,” Strickland said. “The all-turf fields allow games to happen in inclement weather. So, events are less likely to need to cancel, teams are less likely to go home disappointed and the fun can continue here at DE Turf.”
Also, First State Orthopedics and ATI Physical Therapy will be opening new offices at the site next to the fields and the new overpass.
The $24-million sports complex was designed by Becker Morgan Group and built by Richard Y. Johnson & Son. Highwater Management (a subsidiary of SoDel Concepts) is providing the facility’s healthy concessions. The fields can host soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, ultimate Frisbee and more. Five of them are lighted, including the 750-seat championship stadium.
The fields can host soccer, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, ultimate Frisbee and more. Five are lighted, including the 750-seat stadium.
For information about registering for a DE Turf camp or becoming a sponsor of the complex, call 302-330-TURF (8873) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.