Buncombe County Parks & Recreation has been awarded a grant of $4,054,415 by the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) as part of their $6 million dollar investment in three major tourism capital projects. This significant funding will contribute to the ongoing development of Buncombe County Sports Park (BCSP), further positioning it as a premier sports park and family destination.
Enhancing BCSP is a significant component of the Enka Recreation Destination project (ERD). The goals of this project are to provide convenient transportation options through the implementation of greenways, promote health and wellness, boost the local economy, and ensure equity and inclusion for all. Buncombe County Parks & Recreation has been actively working on the funding, planning and execution of substantial improvements that align with these objectives.
With the help of BCTDA grants and Buncombe County’s matching dollars, Phase I of the updates at the Sports Park have been completed, boasting three newly turfed fields along with the installation of light poles and an automated lighting system, a newly built and open dog park with shade structures, re-paving of parking lots and roads, a new restroom facility and new vinyl-coated chain link fencing around fields.
The grant received on October 25 will play a large role in future enhancements at the Sports Park which will include the installation of artificial turf on fields 3, 4 and 5. Additionally, the outdated playground will be demolished to make way for a modern, accessible, and inclusive ADA-friendly playground. Furthermore, a brand-new picnic pavilion with lighting will be installed as well as renovated restroom facilities.
“Buncombe County Parks and Recreation is proud to partner with the TDA to provide vital enhancements at the Buncombe County Sports Park as a key component of the Enka Destination Project. This project creates a multi-faceted attraction that highlights sports tourism with a regional asset that is attractive for athletes and families alike,” said Allison Dains, Parks and Recreation Director. “The addition of turf and lighted fields at the sports park will increase playable hours for the local community and add additional play for tournaments, as well as local practices and games.”
The impact of the Sports Park and its role in advancing local sports tourism and family friendly recreational activities is undeniable. In the calendar year 2022, the park welcomed a total amount of 850,000 visitors, including attendees of the 13 weekend sports tournaments that attracted over 32,400 participants. This demonstrates the significant attendance of local visitors, with over 820,000 residents benefiting from access to this exceptional facility.