Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex opens

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A $17 million sports complex was unveiled by Hillsborough County officials Thursday.

First envisioned about a decade ago, the Hillsborough County Tournament Sportsplex is now ready for action.

"After 10 years, it's been a labor of love, but today we officially opened the complex," said Ken Hagan, the county commissioner who spearheaded the project.

Located on E. Columbus, near U.S. Hwy 301 and Falkenburg Road, the sports complex has 15 full-sized, multi-purpose fields, a 35,000-square-foot plaza, 330 parking spots, high-tech LED lighting, and free WiFi.

The massive investment, financed by the county and the Tourist Development Tax, is expected to attract world-class tournaments to the venue, and in turn, generate a positive economic impact for local businesses.

"Youth athletics is big business," said Hagan. "Teams come here and they spend two to three nights, they spend money for hotel rooms and consumer spending, so there's considerable economic impact."

A county study estimates a $7.3 million economic impact the first year and up to $25 million by the fifth year.

Events are already lining up to use the complex.

The U.S. Flag and Touch Football League's National Championships are scheduled for January 2019.