Construction underway for new Clay County regional sports complex

The new park will elevate Clay County’s athletic profile, boost tourism & tournaments, officials say

CLAY COUNTY, Fla. – A massive plot of land, not far from State Road 16 in Clay County, looks like 250 acres of possibility.

The construction has only just started, but the site will be home to the county’s new multi-regional sports complex.

The director of Clay County Parks and Recreation, Justin Pierce, said this sports complex will be a game changer for Clay County and Northeast Florida.

“People are moving into Clay County and they’re wanting things to do, places to go, and events to take part in,” he said. “Those amenities we look to add will be able to serve those residents that are looking for that quality of life and things to do.”

Last week, the county held a special groundbreaking ceremony to mark the occasion.

The full project will be broken up into several phases, according to Pierce. When phase one of the project is complete, there will be sidewalks, walking trails, fishing ponds, a monument sign, 350 parking spaces and eight multi-use fields.

The fields will make it possible to play sports like football, lacrosse, soccer and more.

Fifteen acres of field space alone will allow the county to bring major events and host large-scale tournaments, Pierce said. He said it will elevate Clay’s athletic profile in ways never seen before.

Phase one rendering (WJXT)

“Building a sports complex of this magnitude and size, now you’re talking about bringing in people from Georgia, central or south Florida, northwest Florida, and even Alabama,” Pierce said. “It just makes us very competitive and gives us the opportunity to attract those large-scale tournaments that will bring people into Clay County.”

Once phase one is complete, Pierce said, a lot more will be on the way.

“A potential indoor facility, playgrounds, a skate park, pickleball courts, tennis courts,” he said. “As we solidify additional grant funding or other funding sources, we’ll continue to move forward with developing the entire 250 acres.”

The county says phase one will cost just over $7 million. Its construction is expected to wrap up by November, and the park should be open to the public next Spring.

About the Author:

Ashley Harding joined the Channel 4 news team in March 2013. She reports for and anchors The Morning Show.