Going Up: A New Sports Facility in New England
24 Feb, 2016By: Tracey Schelmetic
105-Acre Campus Expected to be One of Largest Youth Sports Venues in the US
At a projected 105 acres, the New England Sports Village (NESV for short), currently under construction in Attleboro, Massachusetts, is expected to be one of the largest sports facilities in the nation. The facility, which began construction in September, will include feature an ice arena, a field house, two outdoor fields, an aquatic center and a hotel.
Construction is expected to conclude by September 2017.
The development company, 5 Capital Management, envisions a world-class sporting facility and athletes’ village that will host amateur (mostly youth) athletes from across Massachusetts and Rhode Island for a wide range of sports including lacrosse, football, figure skating, swimming, gymnastics, dance, tennis and martial arts. The property, which enjoys robust local support as a potential source of town revenue, is being developed entirely with private money and loans.
Joe Fitzpatrick of 5 Capital Management told local news source WPRI that the project was developed in response to the growing popularity of paid youth sports programs. The facility will create hundreds of jobs, Fitzpatrick said, from coaches to managers, hotel staff and even restaurant workers. Initial plans for the site had to be altered in response to concerns from neighbors about light and noise pollution.
“The outdoor fields, we moved away from the property lines, and we agreed to have only one of the fields lit, so the lights wouldn’t be shining in people’s houses,” said Fitzpatrick.
With three buildings and multiple fields as well as a 150-room hotel, New England Sports Village will have the capacity to host multiple events simultaneously. The project is already showing signs of success before it’s even completed: according to the project’s organizers, the facility already has more than 15,000 athletes signed up to use the sports village as their home playing facility upon its completion. Planners anticipate that ultimately, more than 100,000 kids will use the sports village each year for league games, tournaments and camps.
The development team behind New England Sports Village said the goal was to take advantage of the increasing number of youth athletes (and their parents) willing to travel for sports events.
“NESV is the pinnacle of a new wave of sports complexes that combine many activities and revenue streams all in one location,” according to the project’s Web site. “The leadership and senior team members have extensive backgrounds in finance, capital raising, construction, sports complex management, youth/collegiate/professional sports, and community relations.”
The project was recently highlighted for is unique use of the federal EB-5 program, which grants green cards and an accelerated path to citizenship to foreign nationals if they invest at least $500,000 in a job-creating program. The developers of the sports complex have teamed up with a firm established by former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft and former U.S. Senate candidate Michael Sullivan to find investors through the program, the local Sun Chronicle reported recently.