On Saturday, the Alachua County Sports & Events Center had a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Photo courtesy of @ChildrenAlachua on Twitter.

Alachua County Sports & Events Center Officially Opens

On Saturday afternoon, Alachua County officially opened the doors of the Alachua County Sports & Events Center, a substantial addition to the county’s recreation sector. The facility cost more than $30 million of tourism funds, and it will play host to a multitude of tournaments, conventions and gatherings in the years to come.

About the Facility

The massive complex is located in the Celebration Pointe area. It is over 130,000 square feet, and has the capability to host a variety of sporting events and shows.

RaddSports CEO and Alachua County resident Richard Blalock, who played a part in the building’s planning and construction, outlined some of the facilities:

Along with an abundance of space for sporting events, the facility boasts 92,000 square feet of convention space. This area can house events that have been uncommon for Alachua County in recent years, such as boat shows.

Off to a Hot Start

Although the ribbon-cutting ceremony was only on Saturday, Blalock also described how the complex is going to be a hot commodity in the weeks and months to come.

It has already played host to tournaments before the ceremony, and the schedule is not getting any thinner. In the coming weekends, the schedule is crowded with high school basketball showcases.

A Sustainable Increase in Tourism

After the June events, the bookings continue. In fact, Blalock said the facility is thoroughly booked through the end of 2023. As of early June, there is only one open weekend in the upcoming year.

The 200-meter indoor track opens doors for large-scale competitions. Major junior college and NAIA tournaments can be held, and they are also looking at the possibility for events on an international scale.

Though a large upfront cost accompanied the construction of the center, it is a sound investment for future tourism.

About Steven Hieneman

Senior Sports Media/Business Administration dual major at the University of Florida, ESPN Gainesville WRUF sports correspondent.

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