STATESBORO, GA (WTOC) - Statesboro’s professional soccer team will soon have a new home. Tormenta FC broke ground on their stadium Wednesday.
The stadium, located on Old Register Road, will house the professional team as well as Georgia Southern’s teams, but it’s also the gateway to a large development that will bring lots of shoppers and jobs to Statesboro. Owners hope it becomes a regional draw to bring fans to the games and people to the city.
“Statesboro’s rather unique. It’s a city where a lot more people work or go to school here than might actually show up on a census,” said Darin Van Tassell, Tormenta FC, President.
The stadium will not only house Statesboro’s first professional sports team, it will also anchor a development around it that Van Tassell estimates as a $150 million investment.
“We’ve got the stadium, grocery stores, retail, movie theaters, so the entertainment district really changes,” he said.
Last year, Tormenta convinced the City of Statesboro to plan a road parallel to the bypass to help start the development. Soccer league officials say other towns are taking note of the cooperation to get this rolling.
“Statesboro’s a tremendous example of what an idea can become,” said Steven Short, USL League One, VP. “With the right ownership and people behind it and the right community for everybody to come together.”
Sports and other tourism attractions already mean $140 million a year to Statesboro’s economy. Van Tassell hopes soccer, shopping, and more takes that number even higher.
“When you multiply communities by the power of sports with ‘we can’ attitudes here in South Georgia, it’s a very satisfying day,” Van Tassell said.