Murfreesboro has scored big in the sports and entertainment arenas with a $350 million athletic complex scheduled to open in 2024 with the help of a local family farm.
Legacy Sports USA announced last Thursday that it plans to plant the second multi-purpose sports facility of its kind in the nation at a 260-acre site along NW Broad Street and I-840.
The groundbreaking for the facility is tentatively planned for summer of 2022 with a potential opening in 2024 if the plans are approved by the Rutherford County Commission.
“It’s an exciting day for us to announce our home here in Middle Tennessee,” said Legacy Sports CEO Chad Miller from the ground floor of the Murfreesboro City Hall Rotunda. The company’s first sports park is in Arizona.
Murfreesboro’s park will feature a 6,000-seat arena, an amphitheater for concert and event use as well as a fitness and wellness center and multi-use gaming and arcade space. Visitors can also expect retail and dining options.
The planned sports and recreation features of the complex include baseball, basketball, cheerleading, dance, e-sports, football, futsal, gymnastics, hockey, lacrosse, obstacle course training, pickleball, soccer, softball, volleyball and youth camps.
“We have pretty much anything and everything for everybody, so whether you’re 5 or 95, whether you’re a sports enthusiast or you just want to enjoy a night out with your family and listen to some live music, we have something for you as well,” said Miller.
According to a news release from the city of Murfreesboro, the park is projected to host more than three million visitors each year and generate tens of millions of dollars in economic impact.
The land needed to support over the development was purchased from the Hord and Haymore Family Farm on Old Nashville Highway.
“This will be one of the largest family sports entertainment parks in the world. We’ll have close to one million square feet under roof when it’s all said and done,” said Miller, who thanked the Hords and Haymores for their land contribution to make this venture possible.
Plans to break ground could take place as early as the second half of 2022 if approved by the county commission.
“This is something that we really want the community to wrap their arms around,” said Miller. “This isn’t ours. It’s yours.”
Betty Hord, wife of the late Tommy Epps Hord III, said the farm has been in the family’s name for five generations.
“I think it’s a win-win for Murfreesboro. I think it’s a win-win for Rutherford County, and I think it will be a blessing for this community,” said Hord.
She and Tommy had been approached by Robert Mifflin and Jeff Davis of Parks Realty in Murfreesboro about selling the property, a request that had been made several times.
“Tommy, he just couldn’t part with it. He just could not, but he told me before he passed away, ‘At some point in time, you’ll have to sell,’ ” said Hord, who discussed the sale with her daughter and grandsons.
With her husband’s memory in mind, Hord said the community aspect and “open space” concept attached to Legacy’s vision for the property was the deciding factor that ultimately sealed the deal to sell 167 acres of land.
Mary Young Haymore, Tommy’s sister who’s track of farmland runs right alongside his, has chosen to sell about 95 acres as well.
“I think it will endear the Hord name in ways that I can’t even imagine right now. I really do,” she said. “They’ve already spoken with us and said that they will name areas after family members, and that means a lot to me too. I want Tommy to be recognized in all of this because he was very instrumental. Had it not been for him and the foresight of not selling years and years ago, this wouldn’t be happening now.”
She feels that Tommy, an avid fisher, outdoorsman and Southeastern Conference sports fan, would’ve appreciated the recreational elements coming to the county rather than more space being carved out for residential use.
“He and I both graduated from the University of Tennessee, and our blood runs orange,” said Hord.
Despite selling their largest track, the family will continue to hold acreage in other parts of the farm.