New track in Celebration Pointe is almost complete. However, east Gainesville residents are still not on board with the project’s location

Published: Dec. 22, 2022 at 6:42 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -A new track to honor the University of Florida track and field legend Jimmy Carnes is being built at the new Alachua county sports and event center at Celebration Pointe.

The 220-meter track was constructed in Italy and then shipped to Gainesville just in time for the track season. Developers said their goal is to make the Jimmy Carnes track the fastest track in the world.

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The board of Alachua county commissioners joined with RADDSPORTS to create a multi-purpose facility for sports and events.

“It all started with the board of county commissioners having the insight to be able to say ok we need to do some stuff to generate some tourism and activity in and around Alachua county.” said CEO of RADDSPORTS Richard Blalock. “So it’s not just sports right so we’re really working hard to make sure that it serves all the purposes and needs of Gainesville, Alachua county, UF, and everybody who wants to come and utilize it.”

Even though it’s almost done, some east Gainesville residents are still not on board with the project’s location and are feeling left out.

“Anything you can do for the kids is very helpful, said Lincoln Middle School coach Gary Calhoun. “I would like for it to be as helpful on that side of town as well as this side of town because if you come out here at 6 o clock and watch what’s going on, you’ll see how this facility what is has done for the east side of Gainesville.”

Resident and football coach at Fred Cone Park Reginald Mosely said he thinks east Gainesville would benefit more from this project.

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“A facility like that over here will save so many lives,” said Mosely. “It would help so many parents out because they will have a facility where they know their children can be at playing basketball, football, track, whatever all at one facility.”

Blalock said the idea for the location was studied and that this was the best location to be successful.

“For us at a marketing side to be able to bring in events, it’s pretty much a no-brainer because what these things are popping up around the country, they’re popping up as anchors for new development.”

The facility is already booked for 22 events for 2023. The track will be unveiled on January 7th and the first track event is set for January 13th.

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