The City of Marietta will cut the ribbon on the Franklin Gateway Sports Complex Thursday, Aug. 24.
Marietta city staff members will offer tours of the facility and its three soccer fields from 5:30 to 6 p.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to follow. Teams are scheduled to start practicing on the fields at 6 p.m. as well.
“We kind of wanted to have that in the backdrop,” said Lindsey Wiles, Communications Manager of the City of Marietta.
The grand opening comes after about 10 months of construction to build the 13-acre complex. The project was part of a deal between the city and Atlanta United, the Major League Soccer team, which built its training facility down the street. Atlanta United will be able to rent the fields for tournaments or larger events.
“We wanted to build some type of facility out on Franklin Gateway because there’s no real big city parks or anything like that out there,” Wiles said.
She explained that local organizations can rent the fields for recreational activities, but the city also aims to attract larger events to the complex.
“We hope to host big revenue-driven type tournaments where people are coming from out of the area to stay in local hotels,” Wiles said.
In addition to the potential economic benefits, Wiles also pointed out that the area on Franklin Gateway has not been the safest part of town, historically.
“But crime has gone down about 40 percent,” she said. “Now you have Atlanta United and now you have our soccer fields, and hopefully more is headed this way.”
The Franklin Gateway Sports Complex is located at 1034 Franklin Gateway in Marietta.