Granite Park opened in the middle of 2017 and will soon have soccer fields to accompany the baseball/softball fields. Photo by Frank Lopez.
The once troubled sports facility at Cedar Avenue in central Fresno is entering a new phase.
The 18-acre Granite Park Sports Complex, which houses baseball and softball fields, is being renovated to transform 10 of those acres into new soccer fields, according to a press release from the Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, which manages the facility.
Four full-size and eight smaller fields will be available for community groups and will allow Granite Park to host up to 90 soccer games a week, the release continues.
Originally opened in 2002, the complex closed in 2006 after it was unable to generate enough money to pay its debts, according to Mark Standriff, director of communications for the city of Fresno.
“The expected growth of the entertainment venues around the stadium never really materialized,” Standriff said. “It was evident fairly quickly that the business model wasn’t going to pencil out.”
Even after it closed, the city still was paying $104,000 a year to keep the facility from falling into blight, Standriff continued.
An investment of more than $2 million from Terance Frazier, CEO of the Central Valley Community Sports Foundation, and his company, TFS Investments, allowed revitalization to begin in 2015, along with money from Central Valley New Market Tax Credits, LLC.
The city entered into a 25-year lease and service agreement with the foundation to pay $150,000 a year for programming, staffing and maintenance, according to Standriff.
The grand opening was held in 2017 and since then, the Sports Complex has hosted more than 500,000 visitors to the park.