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New Jersey's Rowan University Plans Arena, 50-Field Youth Sports Complex

10 Jan, 2018

By: Michael Popke

Big news out of Glassboro, N.J.: Rowan University recently unveiled plans to build a multi-sport athletic complex on 300 acres of its campus. The project, led by EDP (a high-profile organizer of youth soccer leagues and tournaments), will include a 4,500-seat arena, an indoor training center, more than 50 athletic fields, tennis courts, outdoor track and field venues, a hotel and retail space.

“We believe [this] will be the best youth sports venue in the United States,” Steve Shilling, president of EDP Soccer said upon making the announcement. The facilities are expected to draw 1.5 million visitors a year, primarily for youth sports tournaments and training, and also will be home to Rowan University Athletics.

Site plans are still under development, and Rowan officials have not provided a timeline for or details of the project.

That said, the university has been involved in other large-scale developments, as depicted by CourierPostOnline.com, a leading news service in western New Jersey:

In 2002, Rowan began purchasing farmland in Harrison near [R]outes 55 and 322, not far from the Glassboro border. It acquired a total of 600 acres on either side of Route 322.

In 2008, it opened the South Jersey Technology Park on the north side. Last year, Rowan sold 100 acres to Inspira Health Network for its newest hospital, which is now under construction. 

In 2015, Rowan opened a $4.6 million practice facility for its college teams on 17.5 acres of the 600-acre West Campus. It includes two synthetic turf fields where Rowan's football, lacrosse and field hockey teams practice. 

When the practice center opened two years ago, Rowan officials indicated sports facilities on the main campus eventually would be relocated to the West Campus. 

“We look forward to sharing the specifics as the project progresses,” Rowan President Ali A. Houshmand said about the university’s latest development effort.

It’s worth noting that the proposed 300-acre site is about 100 acres smaller than Grant Park in Westfield, Ind., where local officials say youth sports made a $145 million economic impact in 2016. 

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