“This is exactly why we need it:” Construction begins on multi-field sports complex in Wilmington

A growing city with a growing interest in sports is closer to becoming the home of the new nCino Sports Park.
Published: Feb. 15, 2023 at 5:45 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - A growing city with a growing interest in sports is closer to becoming the home of the new nCino Sports Park.

Officials marked the beginning of the construction project with a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday morning at the site on Sutton Steam Plant Road in New Hanover County. The complex, built on an old landfill, is the current and future home of the Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer program.

“It’s been a challenging environment because of the supply chain issues and the cost of a lot of the materials have gone up dramatically,” said Wilmington Mayor Bill Saffo.

The project was approved as part of the 2016 Parks Bond. nCino signed on as the naming sponsor for the complex in 2021. The construction for the 11-field complex is estimated to cost $16.9 million and will include a turf field, and five fields with stadium lights.

Hammerheads Executive Director Carson Porter says these new additions are an essential change from the current facilities.

“This is exactly why we need it,” Porter said. “February, the days are short, so we have portable lights out here which aren’t good. So, having permanent stadium lights out here will make a huge difference.”

A difference, Porter hopes, will be noticed both on and off the field not just in soccer, but across several outdoor sports.

“The life lessons, the characteristics that you can learn as a child through a coach or through a sport, and we just want to be an active member of the community and continue to be a part of a child’s upbringing and teach them the positive things that we can do,” Porter said.

Meanwhile, a group called “USL to Wilmington” is still working to bring a new professional soccer team to the Cape Fear region. Saffo hopes the community would welcome that idea.

“I would love to see one,” Saffo said. “I know that this community supported the Hammerheads for many years, and I would love to see another soccer team back here in the city of Wilmington, or at least in this region, because I do know that this community, this region would support it.”

Construction on the nCino sports complex is scheduled to be completed in the spring or summer of 2024.