Bryan Park expansion already drawing national soccer interest

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Hundreds of teams from across the country already come to the green fields of Greensboro’s Bryan Park to play competitive soccer, but an ongoing project will make it even more of a destination.

“Really $13-$18 million in additional economic impact could be generated from the completion of this project,” said Phil Fleischmann with Greensboro Parks and Rec.

Parks and Rec chipped in about $1 million, along with $3.5 million from the Greensboro United Soccer Association to make the fields state of the art. New lights, three new grass fields along with a parking lot. Phase one of the project also includes working with some fields to make them regulation size. The goal is to make this a one stop destination for big name soccer tournaments.

“They have the luxury of being very selective now, you know, 'We don't want to go to a city where I have to go to two different locations. We want 20 fields in one location,’” said GUSA Executive Director Pete Polonsky.

Phase two involves turning two of the existing fields into turf fields. Polonsky spoke highly of the collaboration with Parks and Rec, because of the high quality and maintenance of the fields they own.

“It's just a great partnership. They take care of the facility, we take care of the soccer end of it, bring lots and lots of teams in here,” he said.

Next weekend, more than 350 teams will be in town for a tournament. Polonsky says they’ve already locked up a couple national tournaments in 2017.

There is also a Parks and Rec bond referendum on the ballot this year for Greensboro voters. The $34.5 million bond goes to varies park projects, but part of it could go towards further expansion of Bryan Park, buying some land from Guilford County to make the area even more appealing as a soccer hot spot.