Asheville City Council is literally making tracks, errr, make that track, singular, in its efforts to improve public infrastructure. At its March 22 meeting, Council unanimously approved a $4.4 million project at Memorial Stadium that includes a long-requested six-lane competitive track. Today, we’re breaking it all down.
The vote authorizes “phase two” of the stadium’s development and includes an expanded walking trail, new restrooms, and playground improvements in nearby Mountainside Park. Phase one was completed earlier this year and included new turf + field drainage, handicap accessible ramps, and pedestrian access along the ends of the field.
The nearly 100-year-old city-owned facility sits behind McCormick Field and is located in East End, one of Asheville’s oldest historically Black neighborhoods. Home to local recreation teams + high school leagues, it served the area’s local Black community for generations but has sat in disrepair for most of the last three decades until it became the home of the Asheville City Soccer Club in 2017.
Advocates for the new track hope that these upgrades will help maintain the integrity of the stadium as a community resource + gathering space — in addition to a place where soccer matches take place.
While $1 million in bond funds have already been allocated to the project, there’s a funding gap of $3.4 million. Next steps for the project include identifying funding sources, which city staff say will take place at a future meeting.