ASHEBORO, N.C. (WGHP) — A facility 17 years in the making is finally being used by the next generation of athletes.

The Zoo City Sportsplex in Asheboro is made up of eight full sized fields for soccer, lacrosse and football.

Asheboro Raiders Football Coach Mark Newton is glad his team can take advantage of the new facility.  

“This is an awesome opportunity that I wish I had growing up,” Newton said. “Just to have the opportunity open to the community to play.”

The 90-acre facility was purchased for $3.9 million in 2006. Asheboro Mayor David Smith told me there’s reasons this project has taken so long to finish.

“This is not a level piece of property,” Smith said. “So we spent like a year and a half cutting and filling.”

On Tuesday night, Asheboro City Council members toured the unfinished parts of the facility.

A few more fields are still in the works, but a concessions stand has been completed and should be up and running soon.

Smith says the main reason they invested in this project more than a decade ago was to provide another tourist attraction just a few miles away from the state zoo. 

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“Whether it be volleyball, football, baseball, soccer … it brings people into town to stay in our hotels, spend money in our restaurants and our gas stations. This is an economic engine for the city of Asheboro,” Smith said.

The park will also include a dog park and a trail.

It’ll have a grand opening ceremony on Oct. 19 and construction is expected to be completed in Spring 2024.