Lebanon ushers in a new era for youth sport


Oct. 27 – After several years and countless hours of committee meetings, Lebanon on Wednesday inaugurated a sports complex that will soon have football, baseball and softball fields.

The resort is located on Highway 231 south near Stumpy Lane. The city entered into an agreement with RELYANT Global to build the complex in July.

Several city officials and members of the Wilson United Soccer Club were on hand to mark the groundbreaking ceremony.

Lebanon has accepted RELYANT Global’s offer for the construction of the complex in the amount of 14.4 million dollars. As a contingency, to account for the possibility of unforeseen costs, the city has allocated $15.8 million.

“Today we inaugurate the first phase, but it is not the only phase,” said the mayor of Lebanon, Rick Bell. “There are other phases to come. But that’s the beginning. That’s where we’re going to start. And you have to thank a lot of people who worked on that, because it really took some hard work. ‘team that has lasted a long time.’

Bell said the project was the culmination of a lot of hard work by the sports complex committee responsible for scoping out a suitable space and putting together a design to move the project forward.

“This citizens’ committee was formed many years ago and they worked for a long time to plan this, and not just this phase, but also the baseball and softball phases,” Bell said. “They spent a lot of hours, a lot of meetings and a lot of plans. They came up with a good one.”

Bob Zenker’s son, Jack, plays for the soccer club.

“We’re so excited,” Bob Zenker said. “Our community of over 2,000 players desperately needs a safe place to play football, and we’re so excited that we’re in the early stages of construction.”

The complex is located in the district of the municipal councilor Camille Burdine.

“I spent many hours on the sidelines on days like this,” Burdine said. “It all started with community, like most things, and a need that needed to be met.”

While the complex presents an opportunity to relocate the pitches on which Wilson United Soccer Club plays its matches, Burdine sees it as a blessing for the whole family.

“We know that’s what we need for our young people, but not just for our young people, but also for our adults,” Burdine said. “We want grandparents and our families to get outside and be able to watch their kids safely and get refreshments, shade and nice sidewalks to walk on. So we’re very, very excited about that. That’s something for everyone.”

Rick Smith, who was on the sports complex committee, pointed out that it had been a long time since they had gone on a mission.

“Our first committee meeting was on April 24, 2019,” Smith said. “(After) three and a half years of COVID and all the delays, we’re finally here. And it’s a great feeling to see what we’re going to achieve.”

Looking around, Smith indicated that he saw a realization of the vision statement that started their business.

“It’s a place for our citizens and visitors while having a positive economic impact on the city,” Smith said. “We want to have an economic return. Are we already there… no. We will get there. We have a lot of work to do.”


Comments are closed.