Bad weather has delayed some construction of the North Main Athletic Complex, but town officials say it will be ready for an April soccer tournament and the inaugural Holly Springs Salamanders baseball game in late May.
The town is building an 1,800-seat baseball stadium, 12 tennis courts and multi-sport turf fields as part of a $19 million complex on North Main Street. The stadium will be home to the Holly Springs Salamanders baseball club, an expansion team in the Coastal Plain League.
Green turf fields, concrete for tennis courts and the skeleton of a baseball stadium now sit on 42 acres of land that was blanketed with red dirt mountains when construction began last summer.
Snow and ice put construction crews about a month behind schedule, said Len Bradley, the town’s parks and recreation director. But the fields are expected to be ready for a Wake Futbol Club tournament on April 11, and the stadium will be ready for the Salamanders’ first game on May 28.
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While the stadium needs an infield, seats and an outfield fence, among other key features, the turf fields only needs soccer goals, perimeter fencing and sidewalks.
The crews will work weekends to make up for lost time, Bradley said.
“The contractor is doing everything he can possibly do to get them ready,” Bradley said. “We’re not putting anything off.”
Residents seem as eager to secure tickets as town leaders are to approve additional stadium features.
Salamanders’ Assistant General Manager Kevin Whitehead said the team has sold many season tickets, though he declined to report an exact number.
“It’s a good number. It’s more than most in the league,” he said, adding that the club has yet to ramp up marketing efforts.
The Salamanders also are close to securing the 35 families it needs to host its players, Whitehead said.
“We’re pretty darn close,” he said.
Coastal Plain League teams are made up of collegiate players who aren’t paid. The league encourages families who live near teams to house a player for a season, which lasts from May to August.
The Salamanders plan to talk about the host family setup during a public meeting March 31 at 7 p.m. at W.E. Hunt Recreation Center, at 301 Stinson Ave., in Holly Springs.
Holly Springs leaders, meanwhile, are preparing to upgrade the stadium after receiving $1 million from the Wake County Board of Commissioners in February from tax revenues from hotels and restaurants.
At the Holly Springs Town Council meeting March 17, council members approved $379,000 of the $1 million for additional bathrooms at the stadium.
Next month, the council is expected to consider spending some of the rest of the county money on a scoreboard, a beer garden and an office building for Wake Futbol Club, Bradley said.
Cost estimates weren’t immediately available, he said Wednesday, but will be released before the Town Council’s next meeting on April 6.
For more on the Salamanders and tickets, go to www.salamandersbaseball.com. For information on the host family meeting or hosting a player, email firstname.lastname@example.org.