LEBANON, Tenn. (WKRN) — A brand new sports complex is coming to Lebanon in Wilson County, Tennessee.
“It is odd to see planes coming and going,” said James Herren.
For thirty years soccer players in Lebanon were used to seeing and hearing the sounds of planes nearby.
“The growth of the airport really has mirrored our growth and really that across middle Tennessee as well,” said Herren.
Located on the Lebanon Municipal Airport property is the Wilson United Soccer Club.
Herren started as a volunteer for the club ten years ago and now serves as the executive director.
“When I started, my daughter started here, it was about 400 in the recreational program; now it’s 1,200 approximately in the recreational program,” he said.
After years of planning, Herren said the club will finally get a brand new home.
“We’ve had to make due and try to build what we can and carve things out,” he said. “That place has been designed by sports design firms, and it’s meant for soccer. It’s meant for sports.”
In 2019, city council purchased roughly 150 acres of land off Highway 231 near Stumpy Lane for $2.5 million dollars.
In mid July of this year, the council officially approved over $15 million to begin constructing the city’s new sports complex.
Phase one will feature five soccer fields with LED lighting along with a walking trail, playground, concessions, and a pavilion.
“As Lebanon grows we need to have more opportunities for youth sports and this represents that first big step by the city of Lebanon recognizing that and building into the future,” said Herren.
With the city scheduled to break ground next month, Herren knows this will not only be a good thing for his players, but also for the airport that’s growing as well.
“The airport needs this land, and this is going to be a great thing for them to be able to expand, and it really represents an exciting time in the city of Lebanon,” he said.
The next two phases of this sports complex will feature baseball and softball fields as well as more soccer fields for the club.
Herron said the first phase of this project is expected to be ready to use by spring of 2024.