Hillsborough County officials and guests gathered on November 1 for a sneak peak of the new $17 million SportsComplex which will host its first tournament in January.

The Brandon area will soon be home to one of the country’s most state-of-the-art sports facilities. The Hillsborough County Tournament SportsPlex, located on Columbus Dr. between U.S. Hwy. 301 and Falkenburg Rd., is home to 15 fields that will be used for a variety of sports starting in January.

County representatives gathered earlier this month to celebrate the opening of the complex, expected to draw championship-level athletic events with teams from all over the country.

“The 65-acre facility can be configured for a variety of sports, including soccer, football, lacrosse, rugby, cricket, ultimate (played with a flying disc) and field hockey,” said Hillsborough County Communications and Digital Media Representative Michelle Van Dyke.

The $17 million SportsPlex is a partnership between Hillsborough County, the Tampa Sports Authority and the Tampa Bay Sports Commission.

“Hillsborough County is building and will own the facility, which will be managed by the Tampa Sports Authority,” said Van Dyke. “Construction is funded by the County, with additional funding through the Tourist Development Tax and support from the Hillsborough County Tourist Development Council.”

According to Van Dyke, a feasibility study projects the SportsPlex will have an economic impact of $7.3 million in its first year and $25 million in the fifth year.

“It is expected to attract events in the booming youth and amateur sports market as well as top adult and senior athletic competitions, bringing thousands of visitors to the area,” said Van Dyke.

The first major tournament, the United States Flag and Touch Football League’s National Championships, is scheduled for January 18-20, 2019.

Each field features professionally maintained Celebration Bermuda grass while the SportsPlex offers wireless internet access throughout, high-tech LED lightning which will also cut energy consumption by up to 65 percent and a robotic field striper that uses GPS to automatically line the fields. There is also a championship field with bleacher seating, adjacent to a 35,000 sq. ft. vendor village area for celebrations and sales.

The SportsComplex is located at 9330 E. Columbus Dr. in Tampa. For more information, visit www.hillsbroughcounty.org.

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Assignment Editor Kate Quesada started working at the Osprey Observer in 2004 after graduating from the University of South Florida with a masters degree in Mass Communications. Since then, she has held various positions at the paper and has been working as the assignment editor since January 2020. She lives in Lithia with her husband Mike and sons Dylan and Max and stays active in the community on school PTA boards and volunteering with local organizations.