"Play ball!" was heard Thursday evening for the first time at North Main Athletic Complex. But the town’s new multi-sport facility remains a work in progress.
The Holly Springs Salamanders won their inaugural home game in a summer league for college baseball players, scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 7-6 victory.
That was essentially the second time Thursday that Holly Springs went into the bottom of the ninth with the game on the line. Town employees were scrambling that afternoon to ensure that the stadium, although still a construction site, would be sufficiently ready to open for play.
“It’s really amazing all the work that has been done in the last few weeks,” Town Manager Charles Simmons said, crediting virtually every town department in addition to stadium contractor T.A. Loving.
“I had almost a surreal feeling because we’ve been working on this so long,” Simmons said. “I couldn’t help but feel that this was a momentous day for Holly Springs.”
The $19 million athletic complex is on 42 acres between Main Street and the N.C. 55 Bypass.
The 1,680 seat stadium has synthetic turf for sports including lacrosse and soccer and will have concerts and other special events. NMAC also has two lighted, synthetic turf soccer fields and a dozen tennis courts.
For now, the only play at NMAC is Salamanders baseball since it’s still a construction site. Even that interruption in the flow of construction activity creates logistical challenges.
Adam Huffman, the town’s assistant director of Parks and Recreation, said it seemed that people on hand for the stadium opener were having a good time. However, he found himself preoccupied with “What did we miss?” since so much had to happen hours before game time.
The scoreboard went dark late in the game when the computer running it rebooted after a connection was inadvertently knocked loose. As for concessions, Huffman expects waits for food and beverages to shorten with tweaks in operations.
Traffic flow out of the stadium appeared to go smoothly.
Simmons said that a proper open house for the entire athletic complex will be scheduled after construction winds down.
"Please bear with us," he said.