New sports venues continue to emerge across the country at a fast pace. Here to make sense of it all is a list of the ones opening or redeveloped for this year’s slate of action. And yes, we cheated a little with a two-venues-in-one listing at Texas A&M.
Arena at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
As if ESPN’s sports facility wasn’t spectacular enough, a new 8,000-seat arena opened in January. While the arena will host basketball, wrestling and volleyball, cheerleaders will be doing the biggest jumps for joy. The facility is touted as one of the largest in the country designed specifically for cheer and dance events. About 5,000 athletes tested it out already during the College Cheer Championship. Esports will find their way into the arena, as well.
D.C. United’s decades-long quest for a new home is almost complete. The 20,000-seat venue (pictured) in Southwest Washington, D.C., is almost sure to attract an MLS All-Star Game and is targeted for other sporting and cultural events. Combined with Nationals Park, Audi Field is an example of how the District is building through sports business.
Banc of California Stadium
This soccer-specific venue is being built for MLS expansion club—Los Angeles FC. While the facility doesn’t get the attention of the city’s upcoming football stadium, it will have a huge impact on the region. In addition to the 22,000-seat stadium, there will be restaurants, retail and conference space. Among other amenities is an on-site swimming pool. Besides MLS games, the stadium is slated to host Rugby Sevens events and Olympic soccer action in 2028.
BB&T Sports Park
Bermuda Run, N.C.
Upgrades to BB&T Sports Park outside of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, might not look as originally planned. But that’s fine by Scott Wollaston, executive director at Twin City Sports Association. In a mere 10 weeks, four soccer fields were transformed from Bermuda grass to turf. The move allows Wollaston to branch out to lacrosse, Ultimate and other sports that are harsh on grass. Carolina Athletic Performance, an indoor facility that separately runs but shares a parking lot with BB&T, may open as early as August 2018.
Davis Diamond and E.B. Cushing Stadium
Bryan College Station, Texas
In a case of what’s good for Texas A&M is good for Bryan College Station and vice versa, the Aggies’ new sports facilities will benefit the entire community. Davis Diamond is a $28.5 million softball complex while the $39.8 million E.B. Cushing Stadium is a prime track and field venue. Both are expected to be ready for the 2018 season.
D.C. Entertainment and Sports Arena
The new home of The Washington Mystics and practice site for the Washington Wizards should revitalize one of the District’s most underserved regions. On a site visit at the former St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Southeast Washington, D.C., it is estimated that the 5,000-seat arena will make a $90 million economic impact over 20 years.
ErieBank Sports Park
More than the name of Family First Sports Park is changing this year. A $9.1 million renovation will take part in two phases; the first will occur between January and August. Among the highlights of phase one: two NHL regulation-size ice rinks will be constructed to replace indoor soccer fields; eight full-size ice rink locker rooms will be built; basketball courts will be surfaced; and eight outdoor grass fields will receive a renovation.
Photo Credit: D.C. United