Henrico County amps up park improvements, marks sports tourism as ‘major economic driver’

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Henrico’s parks and sports tourism have been bolstered by new and ongoing redevelopments and investments by the county.

The Board of Supervisors discussed capital projects and sports tourism at their annual two-day retreat that features several park additions and new features.

Glover Park is the county’s newest park in Glen Allen at 11217 Greenwood Road. The park currently features 4 turf fields with lights, 8 sand volleyball courts, restrooms and a parking lot.

By Spring 2023, the county plans to construct a running trail, playground and additional fields. Residents can view updates on the park’s construction. This will be around $20 million in improvements.

Glover Park graphic provided by Henrico County

Henrico County will also be restoring Belmont Golf Course by the First Tee of Greater Richmond and is set to open in June. The project has more than $5 million invested into it by the county.

Belmont Golf Course (Photo: Henrico County)

Henrico’s planned indoor sports and convocation center has commenced and demolition at Virginia Center Commons is underway. The opening for the facility is expected by Oct. 2022.

Indoor rendering of Henrico County Sports and Event Center (Photo: Henrico County)

Deep Run Park has been under a bond referendum project and has seen additions like a new cricket field and restroom scheduled for completion.

Deep Run Park (Photo: Henrico County)

The county also expanded the boardwalk at Tuckahoe Creek. That project is completed and residents can access.

Tuckahoe Creek boardwalk addition (Photo: Henrico County)

A new baseball stadium at Dorey Park is expected to be completed by Spring 2022. In addition, a water ‘spray park’ is also planned with a ribbon cutting expected this June.

If COVID restrictions are lifted, a large event is planned for Juneteenth at Dorey Park.

Dorey Park (Photo provided by Henrico County)

Henrico will be seeking public input starting in February for the development of Taylor Park. Officials with the county are expecting the area to contain sports facilities and other various community elements.

This will be the first major park in the area since Dorey Park opened in 1983, according to the county.

Taylor Park (Photo: Henrico County)

Henrico County claims that sports tourism is a major ‘economic driver’ and accounted for $47.3 million in visitor spending in 2020.

2019 saw $66.2 million in sports tourism revenue but the coronavirus shutdown ultimately impacted that figure.

Sports tourism activity nearly doubled from 2012 to 2019.

Henrico County sports tourism figures (Provided by Henrico County)

With major investments in facilities within the county, Henrico officials discussed charging tournament fees for the use of fields. Previously, the county was the only known locality not to charge, according to officials.

Tournaments collect thousands of dollars from participating teams used for entry fees. Henrico Parks and Recreation discussed tacking on a 3{066dbc63777e5ed549f406789d72fdeebd77a32711d57f7b38ff2b35c4ba2a42} fee for tournaments for the use of the facilities — which funding will be used to pay for upkeep and facility wellness.

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