Plans revealed for new sports complex in Collier

Posted at 10:57 PM, Jul 27, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-28 08:47:07-04

COLLIER COUNTY, Fla. - If you build it, they will come.  It's a popular line from the movie Field of Deams, and it's what Collier County leaders are hoping happens when they build a sports complex to cater to amatuer athletes.

The 60-acre property is in City Gate off Collier Boulevard just north of Interstate 75, and on Thursday, city leaders got a tour of the swampy area that will one day host the complex.

"It'll be the whole nine yards," said Reginaldo Carmelia, the Collier County Football University representative when he spoke about the project.

The plan is expected to cost about $60 million. The sports complex is in high demand because of how much youth and amateur sports have grown in Collier.

"Now we are at capacity and if we want to grow in the sports world, we need more facilities," said Jack Wert, from the Collier Tourism Bureau.

Despite the project being in the early stages, there were plenty of smiles on board the bus as they were shown where the complex will be built.

"We are building for the future," said Penny Taylor, a Collier County commission member.

The goal is to have several multi-purpose fields, scenic trails around the waterways, and indoor facilities.

"We can't be much happier than what's going to happen with this," said Carmelia.

Local businesses hope all of the current green space will help them bring plenty of green into the county.

"It is a win for everybody," said Jim Ludwig, who has been involved in getting the initial project plan together.

"It'll introduce a lot of people to Collier county and Naples," said Mary Shea, the president of the Sports Council of Collier county. "If they never been here before, they are going to want to come back," she added.

People coming back because of the strong line-up Naples fields.

"We have the best location, the best weather, you can't touch this," said Carmelia. "Everybody wants to be here," he added.

Collier County leaders say this is just the initial plan for the new sports complex. They hope they can get shovels into dirt by 2019.