Parks & Recreation Opens First Phase of Merrimack Sports Complex
February 27, 2019
The City of Huntsville hosted a ribbon-cutting today to celebrate the opening of four artificial turf fields at the new Merrimack Sports Complex.
The bright green synthetic fields are a first for Parks & Recreation, allowing for year-round league play, rain or shine. The turf fields are durable and designed to accommodate the community’s growing desire for fast-paced sports such as soccer, lacrosse and ultimate frisbee.
“These are lighted fields, and with the addition of lighting at 10 fields at the original Merrimack Complex, it widens our ability to offer more practice and playing time and tournaments,” said Steve Ivey, Director of Parks & Recreation.
The $4 million project, phase one of a two, includes concession stands and shade pavilions. Located between Drake Avenue and Milton Frank Stadium, the Merrimack Sports Complex will ultimately accommodate nine new multi-use playing fields. Coming next, five more lighted fields, additional parking, and greenways tying Brahan Spring Park to the adjacent Merrimack Park Soccer Complex. When complete, the $10 million investment represents part of the City’s major expansion plans for recreational facilities.
“These upgrades will elevate the City’s competitive sporting community, allowing more teams to play at the same time,” said Mayor Tommy Battle. “This gives us the ability to serve our community, host tournaments and boost the economy.”
Most excited about the new turf is the Huntsville Adult Soccer League (HASL). With more than 1,000 players, it’s the largest adult soccer league in the state, but players say they’ve haven’t been able to grow their rosters because of limited field availability.
“The new turf fields provide more possibilities,” said HASL Vice-President Tim Barron. “We can play all of our games in one central location and add new players, which is great for the entire Huntsville soccer community, youth as well as adult. And with added future expansions planned, Merrimack should be a great location for regional soccer tournaments.”