A proposed major sports project in south Forsyth is one step closer to becoming a reality following a decision from commissioners at the board’s latest work session.
On Tuesday, Nov. 8, The Forsyth County Board of Commissioners heard a presentation about the SoFo Sports Park, formerly known as Winner’s Circle Park, from officials from SoFo Sports Group and the county’s Development Authority.
Following the presentation, commissioners approved an economic incentive package recommended by the Development Authority.
Among plans for the park are nine diamond fields for baseball and softball, a 125,000-square-foot indoor sports facility, 21 pickleball courts and restaurants.
Michael Grade, chief operating officer of SoFo Sports Group, said while there are similar projects existing around the country today, SoFo Sports Group’s business model is what will set this park apart from the others.
According to Grade, SoFo Sports Group will own and operate all events held on the diamond fields outside and “almost all of the events in our indoor facility.”
“This enables us to control all of the revenue streams such as registration, gate, concessions, merchandise, housing and sponsorships,” Grade said.
This “sustainable model” will provide an economic impact to the county, he said, likely generating over $150 million each year through tournaments and other event hosting.
SoFo Sports Group representative Rick Nielsen said the park would be located on about 62 acres of land at the intersection of Brookwood Road and Peachtree Parkway.
During discussion, District 4 Commissioner Cindy Jones Mills asked if the sports park would affect county parks and recreation ball registrations. Assistant County Manager Brandon Kenney said he did not think the sports park would negatively affect county ball registration.
Grade also mentioned that SoFo Sports Group has talked with Forsyth County Schools and the county’s parks and recreation department to see how local athletes can utilize the facilities, and he said he has been in discussion with commissioners on how to share generated revenues with the county in the future.
District 3 Commissioner Todd Levent said he had some uncertainty about approving the economic incentive package, but he liked the proposed plan for the park.
County Attorney Ken Jarrard said approving the economic sports package would be like the “formal beginning of the beginning.”
Approval would show the board’s general support of the idea and allow SoFo Sports Group to reach out to investors. When “everyone is gathered,” Jarrard said, then negotiations with the county would begin.