New ‘Jimmy Carnes Track’ unveiled at the Alachua County sports & event center

Published: Jan. 7, 2023 at 11:55 PM EST
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GAINESVILLE, Fla. (WCJB) -People gathered at the Alachua County sports and event center for the unveiling of a new track to honor the university of Florida track and field legend Jimmy Carnes.

The 220-meter track was constructed in Italy and then shipped to Gainesville just in time for the track season.

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

Jimmy Carnes passed away in 2011so his family accepted the track in his honor.

“The Carnes family is just fabulous,” said State Representative Chuck Clemons. “Coach Carnes was an icon as I was a high school and college participant in track and field and it’s just an honor to be here with his family.”

Alachua county commissioner chair Anna Prizzia say they were excited to be on board with this project-- to put North Central Florida on the map.

“I just think this brings a really great opportunity for a lot more youth sports,” said Prizzia. “It will support the legacy of Gainesville and Alachua county as being the center for sporting activities and it will bring in a lot of really great tourist revenue to our community and help with economic development.”

After the track was removed from the O’Connell center years ago, developers didn’t hesitate to find the “Jimmy Carnes invitational” a new home.

“Alachua county was looking for a replacement facility to have a lot of their events,” said developer Svein Dyrkolbotn. “They contacted us to see if we were interested in building the facility within Celebration Pointe which we were, of course, excited about.”

The first track event is set for January 13th but the sports complex won’t open until early this summer.

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