Emory & Henry set to open new sports complex

This drone shot snapped in May shows part of the new Emory & Henry Sports Complex, set to open this fall along I-81 in Southwest Virginia. Photo courtesy of Emory & Henry College

By A.J. Kaufman, Managing Editor

With work planning to be completed on schedule, Emory & Henry College aims to open its new sports complex in time for teams to use the facilities near Exit 26 along Interstate 81 this autumn.

At the time of this writing, the college — which officially will become Emory & Henry University on Aug. 1 — stated that work is being completed on drainage systems, curbing, electrical infrastructure, and a scoreboard, while crews will finish installing artificial turf, the track, stadium lighting and seating, a press box, restrooms and other features by the time students return in August.

A $13.5 million project, the Food City Sports Complex will be used for men’s and women’s soccer, lacrosse and track and field. According to Emory & Henry, it will also provide a place for youth sports in the community.

“This is a community economic endeavor for the region. Our lead gift was from Food City, who helped build the Meadows Sports Complex in Abingdon. We hope that our facility will serve as backup or overflow to their events when we are not in South Atlantic Conference play. We want the facility to be maximized year-round with E&H athletes, as well as public tournaments or meets,” Vice President for External Affairs Jennifer Pearce told the Business Journal in May. “The Mondo track was an intentional investment, as it is the only one in a 250-mile radius. This will be a big draw for athletes. Of course, situating the complex directly off I-81 will make for easy access for visitors and guests, and raise the name recognition for Emory & Henry, with the volume of traffic passing by every day.”

Indeed, Food City donated $4 million for the completion of the first phase of the project. The school recently announced that Phase two will feature the addition of game-day locker rooms and paved parking spaces.

An economic impact study revealed that Emory & Henry has a $96 million impact annually to the region.

“We contend this new facility will add even more,” Pearce explained. “Future plans for Exit 26 continue to be discussed as funding becomes available.”

The Emory & Henry footprint currently extends 45 miles from Marion, Va to Bristol.

Vice President for Athletics Dr. Anne Crutchfield added in a press release that “The complex will attract future students and youth teams to our campus and the region” and “We hope their families explore the area to take advantage of the recreational amenities we offer in Southwest Virginia and enjoy coming out to support E&H events and other events on our campus.”

About Author

Comments are closed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This