Planning begins to bring action sports complex to Greenville

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Dozens gathered Thursday night to start planning for a new action sports complex in Greenville.

BMX used to be big in Greenville, earning the city the nickname “Pro-town USA” several years ago. That distinction was a big part of Sports Illustrated’s decision to name Greenville “Sportstown USA,” and now locals are trying to bring that feeling back.

“The city of Greenville has a place for us to ride, but it really doesn’t suit the needs of everybody around,” said GAPS representative Benjamin Herd.

That’s one reason why locals are working to bring a state-of-the-art action sports complex to Greenville.

“What we’re looking to do is not your average, run of the mill skatepark as a lot of towns do,” said Herd. “We’re looking to make a major action sports complex which has a wide variety of terrains to satisfy not only the bikers but the skateboarders as well — anybody that rides a wheeled instrument.”

Thursday night, members of GAPS, or Greenville Advocates for Public Skateparks, spoke alongside city leaders to a packed house of people hoping to make the idea a reality.

“The possibilities are endless,” Herd said.

It’s about more than just skating though.

“This is a way to memorialize and pay homage to the athlete that put Greenville on the map,” said Herd. “When you think of Greenville, North Carolina, you think of Dave Mirra.”

Mayor Allen Thomas said it was part of the former BMX icon’s vision.

“This is an opportunity for us in many ways to ignite something that Dave Mirra wanted to see in this community, to reenergize our youth and get ‘em active, get ‘em outside again,” said Thomas. “It’s something we talked about up until losing him a year or so ago.”

It may take several years, but more and more community members are getting on board.

“Ultimately our vision is over the next couple of years to do something incredible that people all over the country we hope will think this is very special, another great reason to come visit Greenville. But also on a day to day basis,” Thomas said.

A city Recreation and Parks rep said they are currently focusing on funding, location, and design. They have it narrowed down to three potential sites but will have to raise a lot of money to make it happen.

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