Sanford, FL – May 1, 2017 – It was a big day for Brevard County on April 27 when the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) officially broke ground on its new national headquarters, the USSSA Space Coast Complex in Viera. A big crowd gathered for the celebration including representatives from the County’s Managers office, the Tourist Development Council, County Commissioners, Visit Florida, Brevard County School Board, and the Viera Company. Wharton-Smith, Inc., one of Central Florida’s largest locally based contractors, will serve as construction manager on the project.
Encompassing 1.2 million square feet of turf on 85 acres, the complex will consist of a new 8,100-seat championship stadium, eight new multi-purpose fields, a new youth field, and two new two-story concession buildings. Each field will have dugout structures, backstops, netting, bull pens, score boards, seating, shade structures, and the latest LED lighting technology. Renovation of the stand-alone, 1,500-seat training facility and batting cages used by the stadium’s previous tenant, Major League Baseball’s Washington Nationals is also included in the project. The existing stadium turf and practice fields will be converted from natural turf to full synthetic turf. In total, the complex will have 15 championship all turf fields. New parking lots, sidewalks, underground utilities, landscaping, and general civil infrastructure site development work will be constructed as part of the new complex.
Eric Garvey, Executive Director of Brevard County’s Tourist Development Office opened the ceremony by thanking everyone for coming out to celebrate the beginning of something great in Brevard County. “I can’t tell you how thrilled I am to be standing here looking out over this complex and just imaging what this is going to be,” he said. Approximately $10 million for the project will come from revenue generated by the Brevard County Tourist Development Tax with support from USSSA to complete the project.
Amateur tournament sports is one of the largest and fastest growing market segments today. The complex has already book 60+ events throughout 2018 and will be home to the USSSA’s professional softball franchise, the USSSA Florida Pride. The complex is expected to attract over 100,000 athletes and spectators and with USSSA’s guaranteed room nights will generate an estimated $500,000 a year in additional tourist tax revenue for the Space Coast. USSSA will be responsible for operations and maintenance of all building, fields and facilities at the renovated sports complex.
“We are excited to be part of such a significant project for amateur sports and for Brevard County, said Rick Bundy, Project Executive at Wharton-Smith. “Building communities is what Wharton-Smith is all about and this project will make a tremendous impact on the youth throughout Central Florida and beyond for many years to come.”
Brevard County Commissioner Curt Smith ended the ceremony exclaiming “What a great day for Brevard County! We are at a cusp of a brand new day…we are at the cusp of an exciting time…hundreds of families that are going to come here, and the tens of thousands of kids that are going to come here and play ball…they are going to fall in love with this place. Congratulations guys,” he added.
See more photos from the event at USSSA Space Coast Complex Groundbreaking