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Harrisburg gets first cricket field with new athletic complex
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Harrisburg gets first cricket field with new athletic complex

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Holcomb Woods Athletic Complex

The town of Harrisburg added two new fields for its recreation programs, including soccer and cricket. Pictured: Mayor Steve Sciascia, third from left, town council members and staffers cut the ribbon the Holcomb Woods Athletic Complex. 

The town of Harrisburg cut the ribbon on its Holcomb Woods Athletic Complex, a town amenity made possible by a Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) requirement.

The athletic complex, which is on the outskirts of Harrisburg, has over 13 acres that feature two fields that will be used for soccer and cricket.

The athletic complex officially opened Nov. 3. 

Jitendra Hiremath, a member of the Harrisburg Multicultural Festival team, said the community has been waiting on a cricket field in the town for years.

“We started playing cricket in the community eight years back,” Hiremath said. “We used to use the baseball fields on Stallings Road. It has been a long process. We are really excited that after all the hard work, it is happening now. We are hoping that the pitch will be laid and by 2022 onwards, we will be able to play games.”

When asked who was more excited about the field, the parents or kids, Hiremath said there was no contest.

“I think we are more excited,” he laughed. “Back in India, we used to play a lot of cricket, but when we came here, we tried to find any small pitch to play. We are hoping that we will be able to get our kids involved and pass it on to the next generation.”

The town had looked for a cricket field location and considered putting it at the Harrisburg Park, but there wasn’t enough space.

The Holcomb Woods Athletic Complex ended up being the perfect spot.

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Over five years ago, the Holcomb Woods developer began talks with the town. A previous UDO had a statement requiring subdivisions provide common open space for larger community use. The athletic complex was negotiated as part of that requirement.

The developer prepared the field and transferred it to the town.

Also part of the requirement, if land isn’t available for common open space, the developer can pay a fee-in-lieu that goes toward park and recreation facilities.

Mayor Steve Sciascia spoke with the Independent Tribune at the ribbon-cutting. He said the town is in need of more athletic space and that the complex was a good start.

“I think it is going to help a lot,” the mayor said. “We need more multi-use field space. We have adult sports and other programs that we definitely need to provide an extra facility to expand our programs. The space we need is equal to the growth we are seeing with our programs. Fields like these, they aren’t just for kids, right. It is a community recreational space.”

Prior to the ribbon-cutting, parks and recreation had already used the field for some of its fall adult soccer programs.

The town also recently opened five fields at the Harrisburg Park in the spring.

Harrisburg plans to add lights and bathrooms to the field in 2023.

The fields are now open for rent from private groups through the parks and recreation department.

The Holcomb Woods Athletic Complex is at 12443 Plaza Road Extension, Charlotte.

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