The facility was named and then renamed before it was even built. Now, the $6.4 million multi-use athletic complex next to Riverview Elementary School is set for its grand opening and has a third, more durable name.
Comporium Athletic Park, constructed at the intersection of Fort Mill Bypass and Spratt Street, features four synthetic turf fields for soccer, lacrosse, football and more and back when it was in the planning stage, officials envisioned it as a venue for travel league play that will draw out-of-area teams and tourism dollars.
“Our goal is to create a tourism destination spot,” said Tommy Schmolze, assistant superintendent for the Fort Mill School District back when the plan was initially discussed. “We think we’re in perfect position to do that.”
The latest name was revealed in a joint announcement Wednesday by Comporium and the Fort Mill School District. Previously, the facility was called Spratt Field and was later changed to Riverview Athletic Complex.
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Comporium is paying $45,000 a year for the naming rights, school district spokesperson Kelly McKinney said. It’s “a five-year arrangement,” said Matthew Dosch, the company’s executive vice president and COO.
One of the prime features of the fields is that they are “all-weather,” meaning the fields’ surfaces are designed to allow play even after the heaviest rain, the joint announcement states.
Construction was mostly financed by the school district, which also requested and ultimately received $1.6 million in hospitality tax funds from York County. The money comes from a 2 percent charge on food and drink prepared and purchased in unincorporated areas of the county, primarily Fort Mill and Lake Wylie. The special tax, which brings in a little more than $2 million annually, is earmarked for tourism-related projects.
“Comporium is always looking for new ways to partner with other local organizations to invest in the communities we serve,” said Matthew Dosch, executive vice president and COO at Comporium. “Comporium Athletic Park not only creates opportunities for the youth of Fort Mill, but it also enhances York County’s reputation as a sports tourism destination.”
With the Manchester Meadows complex, which hosts many major youth soccer events every year, just across the river, Fort Mill’s new facility could serve as an extension for some of those events, as well as attract others.
“The fields at Comporium Athletic Park are part of a system that will include 11 fields by the end of this August that rival any other venue in the area,” said Joe Romenick, director of facilities services for the Fort Mill School District.
“Not only does having these four fields allow us to offer a world-class tournament venue, but by combining the Comporium Athletic Park fields with the fields across the district, we’ll be able to attract larger tournaments from across the state, the region, and even the nation.”
Complimenting the new fields are something Fort Mill used to lack, but now has in abundance. A 125-room Courtyard by Marriott Hotel recently opened near downtown Fort Mill, just minutes from the new sports complex. That followed the opening of a Hampton Inn in that vicinity less than two years ago. Prior to those, the nearest accommodations were up near Carowinds or in Rock Hill.
The Fort Mill School District estimates the facility will bring more than 75,000 tourists during its first three years of use and is expected to generate nearly $8.5 million in revenue for the local economy during that span. Games are already scheduled and will begin in early March, officials said.
The community is invited to Comporium Athletic Park’s official ribbon cutting and grand opening celebration noon to 1:30 p.m. March 17.
Want to know more?
Rental and event inquiries, including individual field sponsorship opportunities, can be directed to Tamara Osborne, Fort Mill School District’s rental facilitator, firstname.lastname@example.org.