Sports Complex Could Be Coming to Cape May County Airport
Cape May County may soon be home to an innovative sports complex, as partners Jamie Sutton, Nick Sylvestro, and Bob Buglak envision a state-of-the-art indoor facility at the Cape May County Airport.
This groundbreaking project features an impressive 80,000 sq. ft. dome-shaped building, making it the first of its kind in the area.
The facility’s design is tailored to cater to a variety of sports, with 60,000 sq. ft. of turf allocated for activities such as soccer, lacrosse, and flag football. An additional 20,000 sq. ft. will be dedicated to basketball, volleyball, futsal, and more.
The partners are not only focusing on sports but also envision the complex as a multifunctional space with a welcome center, food facilities, and areas for hosting parties and special events.
It’s location would be right behind the Cape May Brewing Co and next to the Lower Township Municipal Court
Bob Buglak, a local realtor and loan officer with TriState Lending Group, views this venture as a scalable business opportunity that could significantly boost the local economy, particularly during the off-season.
The complex aims to attract tournaments and extend sports league play through the winter months, addressing a current gap in indoor sports facilities in the region.
Buglak’s motivation for the project stems from his son’s experience in a local soccer league, where winter training sessions required extensive travel due to the lack of indoor facilities in the area.
In a bid to contribute to the community, Buglak and his partners plan to incorporate various initiatives, such as potentially organizing self-defense training for local organizations and residents.
They are also exploring collaborations with schools to provide activity opportunities for special education students across the region.
The proposed site for the complex is on land owned by the Delaware River and Bay Authority (DRBA). Although the project was initially announced in August, it gained traction during a September 15th meeting with the DRBA.
One of the hurtles they had to jump over is the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA. Since it falls so close to an airport, the owners had to get the green light from the FAA before even moving forward. That was achieved earlier this year.
In the blue prints presented, most of the land allocated for the project will fall within the domed area with the entrance and some rooms just making up the front of the property.
The breakdown of the dome leaves plenty of room for different activities. The soccer fields will be in two sizes, an 180 x 120 feet and 120 x 90 feet. Their will be one volleyball court and three pickleball courts.
Pickleball has slowly became the fastest-growing sport not only in Cape May County but also in the United States
Pickleball is a fast-growing paddle sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and ping-pong. Played on a smaller court with a low net, it is accessible to all ages and skill levels. Participants use solid paddles to hit a perforated plastic ball, engaging in dynamic rallies.
The game promotes social interaction, fitness, and strategic thinking, making it a popular choice for recreational and competitive play.
While the project has not been finalized, the estimated cost for the owners is up to $4.5 million, and construction is expected to take a swift six months once approved.
Currently in the planning phase, the developers aim to collaborate with local contractors and planners to bring their vision to life. If successful, the Aviation Sports Complex could mark a new era of sports and community engagement for Cape May County, with doors potentially opening in 2024.
Over the years, Cape May County Airport has been a focal point for community engagement and economic development. The potential addition of the proposed Aviation Sports Complex reflects the airport’s adaptability and commitment to meeting diverse community needs.
As the county continues to evolve, the airport remains a dynamic asset, fostering connectivity and playing a pivotal role in the local economy and transportation infrastructure.
In the past decade there has been a major change in the area to include some major players such as Cape May Brewing Co. Tasting Room, Cellular Tracking Technologies and the expansion of its private hangers.
This area is shaping up to be a major hub for year-round entertainment and a very welcoming rainy-day destination.