Alachua County will host the Alachua County Sports & Event Center ribbon cutting and open house at Celebration Pointe this Saturday.
The event will take place in Celebration Pointe (4870 Celebration Pointe Ave.) with the ribbon cutting starting at 11:30 a.m. and the open house running from noon-4 p.m.
The ribbon cutting speakers include Alachua County Manager Michele Lieberman, Alachua County Commission Chair Anna Prizzia, State Rep. Chuck Clemons, State Sen. Keith Perry, Viking Companies Principal Owner Svein Dyrkolbotn and Alachua County Poet Laureate E. Stanley Richardson.
The open house will be a family-friendly event that includes tours of the facility. There will also be appearances by Gator mascots Albert and Alberta and the Gator cheerleaders. Kids’ activities will be offered, and there will be a DJ and food trucks on site.
Sports demonstrations and activities are planned for basketball, pickleball, volleyball and batting cages.
“The completion of this project is a testament to the vision of current and past County Commissions,” Lieberman said in a press release. “This project will generate over $77 million in annual economic activity, over 100,000 hotel room nights, and millions in tax revenues for our community. It will create over 1,000 jobs with annual wages of over $25 million.”
The facility is 144,000 square feet and funding to build the center came from Alachua County’s $30 million in Tourist Development Taxes, which is paid by visitors to the county, $3 million from Viking Companies and $2.32 million from the state of Florida.
A dedication ceremony for the Jimmy Carnes Track inside the Alachua County Sports and Events Center on Jan. 8.
The BOCC is currently interested in hosting the 2025 World Masters Athletics event at the new facility.