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New Indoor track and pickleball facilities among Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund awards

DE Turf

Four Delaware sports facilities are awarded money from the state’s Sports Tourism Capital Investment Fund.

The Delaware Tourism Office is awarding four grants totaling just over 11 million dollars to facilities in all three counties.

Wilmington Sports, LLC receives $6 million to construct a new indoor track facility adjacent to the Wilmimgton’s Chase Fieldhouse. Indoor Delaware Track will use the facility.

DE Turf in Frederica gets $3 million for improvements including tripling current stadium seating and constructing a new tournament facility.

The STATS Tournaments in Bear will install stadium lights at two of its fields and build one additional baseball field and softball field with its $300,000 grant.

Midway Motion & Fitness receives $2 million to build a pickleball complex in Rehoboth with 12 indoor and 4 outdoor courts meeting American Pickleball Association sanctioning requirements.

"The indoor track one and the pickleball one were newer projects that we really thought could bring some unique events to Delaware, indoor track and pickleball, said Jessica Welch, Delaware Tourism Office director. The pickleball facility will be brand new in the state we don't have anything else like it. Our other surrounding states really don't have anything like that either. So that will really put us into a good position to try to bring regional or national tournaments for pickleball to Delaware."

The fund is for new or existing sports facilities that hold events throughout the year to attract out-of-state visitors and contribute to the state and local economy.

"So we kind of saw this fund as an opportunity to really keep our facilities competitive and make sure that we're able to offer athletes and their families and other people who are traveling here for tournaments and championships and things like that really top notch facilities," said Welch.

Welch adds sports tourism is a significant economic driver, drawing thousands of visitors to the state and generating millions of dollars in revenue.

18 venues applied for grants seeking a total of 54 million dollars

Welch notes the panel reviewing not only selected the four top graded projects, but made an effort to select a mix of new and existing facilities as well as facilities in all three counties.

Joe brings over 20 years of experience in news and radio to Delaware Public Media and the All Things Considered host position. He joined DPM in November 2019 as a reporter and fill-in ATC host after six years as a reporter and anchor at commercial radio stations in New Castle and Sussex Counties.