Plans in place for Cary Towne Center to become $193 million indoor sports complex

Abby Pikett, News Assistant Editor, Design Editor

Cary town leaders plan to turn Cary Towne Center into an indoor sports stadium in an attempt to renew the area and attract business. The redesign is part of the Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitor Bureau’s tourism master plan. The 150,000 square-foot sports complex would host youth and amateur events and tournaments. 

Funding for the complex was approved by the Wake County Board of Commissioners Monday Feb. 17. The board voted unanimously to spend up to $2.36 million per year for 25 years to fund the construction of the $193 million sports facility. 

A plan for the project includes 12 full-size basketball courts,

Photos by City of Cary
Above is the planned construction for the future multi million dollar sports complex.

which can be converted into 20 full-size volleyball courts, a 4,000 seat arena, a 25.000-foot multi-purpose space to host events, tournament meetings and exhibit spaces. The facility would also have four full-size locker rooms, a weight room, workout facilities, a walking track, and a full-service restaurant.

When I first heard about the complex, I thought it’d be a great place for teens or local students to hang out and practice their sports,” said Dasaun Robertson, sophomore at Athens Drive.

The facility would also include a dedicated space for e-sports wired and equipped to meet all e-sports technical requirements. 

“What I hope to be included in it is indoor soccer fields, courts for volleyball/basketball and a field for football. I also hope that there’s a gym for athletes to workout,” said Robertson.

The addition of the sports complex is just part of a total overhaul of the old mall property, which will include office space, residential space and hotels. 

“The hospitality tax would provide about $35 million of the project’s estimated $193 million cost,” said Wake County Commissioner Susan Evans. “This would be money well spent, because we don’t have anything like this facility in the county now, and I’m very excited about the new opportunities it would provide.”

Within five years of construction, Cary estimates the complex could host 67 tournaments, create 161,400 overnight visitors and 47,500 day visitors. Tourism money is generated by people staying in hotels and purchasing food and beverages in the county, which is an important factor for elected officials. 

“I think that since Cary Towne Center is inactive and less people go to it, this is something that’ll gain more attraction and attention,” said Robertson.

This new plan is the latest in recent years to help revive business in the Cary area. Residents of the area were disappointed when IKEA, a popular furniture store, decided not to move into the space in 2018 and Topgolf abandoned plans for the site, as well.

I think it’s important for Cary to have this complex because there’s lots of people who live around this location and it’ll give teens an opportunity to get out and do something they enjoy,” said Robertson.