Stanly County commissioners break ground on new livestock arena

Published 4:36 pm Thursday, April 27, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

Stanly County commissioners and citizens who have worked on Stanly’s proposed livestock arena took a big step this week towards the existence of the new facility.

On Wednesday, members of the county’s Board of Commissioners, along with livestock arena committee members and others, hosted a groundbreaking ceremony.

With construction expected to end in May 2024, the new arena is anticipated to generate additional sales and occupancy tax revenue from between $756,000 to $1.2 million, according to Chris Lambert, director of the Stanly Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The process began 10 years ago and has had costly delays, according to livestock committee member Reggie Medlin.

With a delay caused in part by the project’s original architect, Medlin said, the project estimate went up by nearly $1.6 million. In March, the commissioners passed a resolution for the current plans for the arena at a cost of $5.6 million.

“I was beginning to think I might not live to see it started,” Medlin said on social media. “Thanks to our commissioners for their unwavering support and to Stanly County Farm Bureau and many other citizens and companies who contributed to this project. Without all of your support it would not be possible.”

Medlin further said the committee’s efforts to raise money “are not finished, as we will need to find money for the fans, audiovisual equipment, and some ground equipment. We plan to seek a grant for some of this, but will need participation from our local citizenry and businesses. All donations are welcome, no matter what size.”

Livestock committee member Curtis Furr said “we hired the wrong architect…we couldn’t get him to get us a drawing together.”

However, he added, the ball got rolling when Farm Bureau donated $400,000 to the arena, along with many private local donations.

The increased price of the arena, Furr said, was also because of inflation.

“It’s a great day for Stanly County that we can come together and get a project like this done,” Stanly Board of Commissioners Chairman Scott Efird said. “This will be hugely beneficial for the county…I am very appreciative for everyone that has worked so hard on this project, to finally see it come to get started.”

“This facility will be a tremendous asset for our entire community,” County Manager Andy Lucas added. “It will help enhance our agri-tourism efforts and provide a space for additional agriculture-related educational and extra-curricular opportunities for our school-age children. Further, it will be a facility that can host open-air concerts, large meetings, rodeos, and numerous other community events.”

About Charles Curcio

Charles Curcio has served as the sports editor of the Stanly News & Press for more than 16 years and has written numerous news and feature storeis as well. He was awarded the NCHSAA Tim Stevens Media Representative of the Year and named CNHI Sports Editor of the Year in 2014. He has also won an award from Boone Newspapers, and has won four North Carolina Press Association awards.

email author More by Charles