A long-awaited sports facility officially opened in Frederica this month and is already booked solid with games and tournaments.
Delaware State University’s women’s soccer team is moving its home games to DE Turf Sports Complex and they’re one of many local teams using the field. Goalkeeper Leslie Fazzio said she is excited to leave behind sharing Alumni Stadium on campus with football and other sports.
“As a soccer player, it’s just so much more exciting that it’s brand new and top notch,” Fazzio said about the complex.
The 12-field, 84 acre facility is on pace to host 20 tournaments this year — double what DE Turf Executive Director Chris Giacomucci said he had expected. The tournaments range from football to ultimate frisbee and will serve athletes of all ages. Giacomucci said they will help fuel tourism in the First State.
“When mom and dad are coming to watch their son or daughter play they need a place to stay, they need a place to eat,” Giacomucci said. “So we work with a housing company that schedules all the hotel rooms in the area. We already have blocks set up with hotels in Kent County and the entire state really.”
Giacomucci anticipates close to 500 hotel rooms to be occupied per tournament. The complex is expected to have an economic impact of $18 million per year, based on a recent study.
The facility is also drawing in sponsors. M&T Bank announced Monday that it invested $20.7 million in the construction and development of DE Turf.
Initially, they began a partnership with DE Turf when they looked at offering some bond financing to help out with the construction of the facility. Nick Lambrow, M&T’s regional president for Delaware said after that was completed, they decided to invest in a sponsorship with the field because “it’s such a great investment for the state.”
“If you think about what this sports complex is — an asset for the county and the state — it really does embody a community spirit and we love to invest in infrastructure projects that help the state or the county out,” Lambrow said.
They signed a three-year sponsorship to name Field 2, the northwestern-most field facing Route-1, as M&T Bank Field.