$21.5 million sports and entertainment complex planned for Gastonia

Neighbors packed into the Gastonia Conference Center Tuesday night for an update on the FUSE development.

The Franklin Urban Sports and Entertainment is a 16-acre development planned for west of downtown Gastonia along U.S. 74. The sports and entertainment complex will be home to different venues and events. Sports like baseball, football, soccer and lacrosse could be played.

The stadium would be the main attraction with opportunities for commercial development like restaurants, a hotel and apartments around the area. Private development is already underway around the area according to the developments website.

“It’s pretty visionary in the sense of the economic development. We have compressed the facility so the development pads around the project which is forward thinking on the city’s part,” said Jonathan Cole, an architect helping with the project.

Some neighbors voiced concerns about the traffic and potential noise that could come from the development.

The project has a $21.5 million price tag. The city would use a creative combination of revenue options to pay for the facility.

City leaders would need to issue limited obligation bonds to cover most of the development. Some money would come from hotel occupancy tax, partnership funding and private sector funding and naming rights.

Council will vote later this spring on a final contract in hopes of breaking ground this summer. Construction is scheduled to take 18 months. FUSE could open by late spring or summer of 2021.