The Sanford Sports Complex is already big, but now it’s only getting bigger.
Leaders of the health care organization broke ground on a massive expansion on June 7.
Just how big is the expansion? 18 fields big.
Supporting all sports
The complex, which is already home to the Sanford Pentagon, Sanford Fieldhouse, Scheels Iceplex, Huether Family Match Pointe, and Power & Grace Gymnastics, will now feature five FieldTurf softball and five FieldTurf baseball fields, as well as eight FieldTurf multi-use fields.
President of Sanford Sports Steve Young said this expansion will allow athletes more opportunities, and space, to play more sports.
“We’ve already taken a lot of calls from different organizations that are looking for an opportunity to get their team, or their league, on these fields which shows me there’s a need for it,” he said.
The fields, which will all have lights, will host baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and other activities starting in 2022. They are located south of Benson Road and adjacent to Great Shots.
Supporting the community
Sanford Health CEO Bill Gassen said the addition provides more opportunities for not only athletes, but everyone.
“It’s about community. As the largest employer in most of the communities that we serve, I believe we have an obligation and opportunity to give back.
“It makes the Sanford Sports Complex a year-round facility,” he said.
Sanford Health expects approximately one million new visitors over five years will participate in tournaments, sports training programs and youth and adult league games, driving significant economic activity for the region.
Young added that the addition shows an investment in communities Sanford serves.
“This is an amazing, incredible commitment to this community,” he said. “Not just this one, but all of our regions. I think Sanford does an amazing job of investing in those (communities) that are around them, and those that we serve.”
Sanford Health partnered with Mammoth Sports Construction to make this dream a reality. The 173-acre expansion includes nearly 1.7 million square feet of turf, making it the biggest turf field project in the United States.
The Kansas-based contractor specializes in FieldTurf. Mammoth Sports Construction President Jake Farrant said he’s “never seen anything like this in the Midwest.”
“I’ve never worked with a group that does everything first-class. This is a facility you might see in Orlando, Florida, or maybe in Phoenix, Arizona. We’re having 18 fully synthetic fields, and fully lit.
“That’s going to allow for playability year-round. What an unbelievable destination site this is going to be,” he said.
The synthetic turf is an important advantage over traditional grass fields, says Young.
“There’s a lot of reasons for that. One is (with grass) when you have a heavy rain the night before, sometimes the tournament is washed away,” he said.
Everyone involved in the project is already eager for it to be completed. However, with a project of this size, there will be a bit of a waiting game.
But not too long of one.
“We’re targeting by the summer of 2022, everything will be done,” Gassen said.
- Bismarck athlete bounces back from ACL with help from POWER
- Make-A-Wish, Great Shots tee up a teen’s golf dream
- Youth soccer teams get more playtime in Sanford Fieldhouse