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NCino Sports Park? City To Consider Sponsorship Agreement

By Cece Nunn, posted May 3, 2021
An artificial turf field would likely be built over an existing grass field at Cape Fear Regional Soccer Park as part of a new city of Wilmington sports complex. (Photo courtesy of Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer)
A multi-million dollar city of Wilmington sports complex could be named after one of its fastest-growing companies – the publicly traded banking software firm nCino.

Wilmington City Council will consider a resolution Tuesday allowing the city manager to enter into a sports complex sponsorship agreement with nCino (Nasdaq: NCNO) in the amount of $1.3 million.

The agreement hinges on the building of a synthetic turf field at what would be called "nCino Sports Park." Artificial turf, common in youth sports complexes throughout the country, is more resilient to rain and allows more playing time, said Carson Porter, executive director of Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer.

“Artificial turf is easier to maintain, allows us to play in rainy conditions that might cancel a natural grass field and we can put as many kids, games, tournaments, events as possible without worrying about overuse," Porter said, adding that there are currently only a few artificial turf fields in New Hanover County.

The field is part of a bigger project: In the city’s 2016 parks bond, $10 million was allocated for a sports complex. The aim is to build a complex that includes additional multi-purpose, rectangular fields usable for soccer, football, lacrosse, Ultimate Frisbee, rugby and more. 

“The goal of the project, as stated during the Parks Bond Outreach Campaign, was to deliver five to seven new fields to serve local youth league practices and games as well as regional and statewide tournaments,” city council agenda documents state.

In 2019, the city accepted 65 acres of property at 205 Sutton Steam Plant Road (also the site of seven fields of the Cape Fear Regional Soccer Park) for the project from Wilmington Hammerheads Youth Soccer, which will also manage the complex.

Porter estimates that the nCino Sports Park could have 140,000 visitors annually. 

“It’s a really unique project that took a lot of teamwork with the city of Wilmington, Wilmington Hammerheads land and nCino,” Porter said.

Land has been cleared for the new complex, and construction could begin this summer, Porter said, with hopes of completion by 2022.

According to the city council agenda, the proposed terms of the nCino proposal include:
  • $1.25 million paid by nCino to the city in 10 annual payments of $125,000 each. The first payment would be due 30 days following the date on which construction of the turf for the sports complex begins, and each equal payment of $125,000 would be due annually on the anniversary of the date on which nCino made its first payment of the sponsorship fee, until the sponsorship fee is paid in full.
  • Up to $50,000 paid by nCino toward the cost of signage. The entire signage package for the park, including wayfinding signage, is estimated to be between $130,000 and $180,000. The first $50,000 would be paid by nCino, with any remaining signage costs to be paid by the city. Note that signage costs would be part of the project budget independent of a Title Sponsor.
  • The city would agree to name the facility the “nCino Sports Park” for a term of 17 years, which corresponds with the city’s management agreement with the Cape Fear Youth Soccer Association.
  • The city would agree to build the synthetic turf field with lights.
  • The city would agree to provide physical and digital signage that includes media references to the facility as “nCino Sports Park.”
  • The city would agree to incorporate nCino’s brand, including colors, font, logo, etc., into park amenities.
Wilmington City Council meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Wilmington Convention Center, 10 Convention Center Drive.
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