Byron $17m sports complex welcomed
YEARS of complaints about inadequate sports facilities in Byron Shire will be consigned to history today when the $17 million Byron Regional Sport and Cultural Complex opens.
The complex on Ewingsdale Rd provides 16ha of fields and indoor facilities, and Byron Bay Community Sports Association convenor Paul Irwin couldn't be happier.
"It will be a huge asset not only to Byron Bay and Suffolk Park but to the greater Byron region," Mr Irwin said.
"Probably the biggest asset this facility will create is to foster not only the existing sports like basketball but also sports like futsal, volleyball, badminton and table tennis, which up until now haven't had any facilities."
The complex remains only 90% complete, with $55,000 needed to finish the 1km cycle criterion track, $5000 for the cricket practice nets and up to $300,000 for lighting the netball courts and soccer fields.
Byron Bay couple John and Delvene Cornell and Olympic legend Herb Elliott will attend the opening and have fields named in their honour.
The Cornells, former owners of the Beach Hotel, have donated more than $2 million to local charities and community organisations over 30 years, while Elliott used his influence to help gain funding for the project.
The complex will be formally opened today by Richmond MP Justine Elliot and Byron Shire Mayor Jan Barham in a function from 11am.
Local teams will get their first look at the project with action from 5pm today.