Unveiling “The ROC”: A New Era for Abilene’s Youth Sports Scene

Groundbreaking at "The ROC" Recreation Outdoor Complex
Nov 2023
David Waller, Communications Director for the Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau

The community of Abilene celebrated a momentous milestone on November 8, as the long-awaited groundbreaking ceremony for the Recreation Outdoor Complex (The ROC) drew a spirited crowd of more than a hundred Abilenians. This upcoming recreational haven, which will be an integral part of the Abilene Youth Sports Authority, promises to revolutionize the landscape of outdoor sports in our region.

The ROC: An Overview:

Situated directly behind The Dodge Jones Youth Sports Center, The ROC is poised to become a centerpiece of athletic competition in Abilene. Boasting ten fields, blending fields of natural grass with fields of synthetic turf, this complex is set to cater to a diverse range of sports activities, including soccer, football, and more. The presence of a dedicated clubhouse will serve as the hub for the Abilene Youth Sports Authority and the Big Country Fellowship of Christian Athletes, offering a centralized space for administrative activities, alongside providing a comfortable vantage point for supporters to watch the sporting action in climate-controlled comfort. There will also be play-rooms within the clubhouse that will ensure that siblings and young visitors are engaged and entertained.

Economic Impact and Anticipated Growth:

As the construction gears up for its scheduled start in December, the excitement within Abilene extends beyond the realm of sports. The economic prospects tied to this monumental project are promising, as shown by the impact generated by the Dodge Jones Youth Sports Center since it opened its doors in 2019. Garnering an impressive economic influx of $5,822,010 and accommodating 26,765 attendees, the center has catalyzed a surge in local hospitality, with 12,400 hotel rooms being occupied as a direct result of the sporting events hosted. With the addition of The ROC, the prospects for heightened sports tourism and an expanded scope of communal engagement are expected to skyrocket, paving the way for a new era of prosperity and athletic fervor in our city of Abilene.

The inauguration of The ROC heralds a new chapter in Abilene’s sporting legacy, promising a vibrant hub for outdoor recreation and fostering a sense of unity within our community. With its anticipated completion in the spring of 2025, this ambitious project is not just a physical structure but a testament to the city’s unwavering dedication to empowering the next generation of athletes. The ROC’s imminent arrival is set to solidify Abilene’s position as a premier destination for sports enthusiasts and pave the way for an era of prosperity and wholesome engagement.