Northport takes another step forward for high quality youth sports and recreation today. City officials, business and community leaders are expected to attend groundbreaking ceremonies for the new River Run Park this afternoon. The event is set for 1:30 for the long-planned project just west of downtown Northport, Alabama. The event will take place just off Oliver Lock and Dam Road.

The 36-acre baseball and softball complex sits on property just north of the Oliver Lock and Dam. The project is part of the broader Northport Shore development which will include Northport's Levee Trail and will maintain the Kentuck Park and Warrior Baseball names.

The sports complex will add nine tournament-ready baseball and softball fields, pickleball and tennis courts and more.

The new park is expected to feature two signature fields as the venue's centerpieces. They will include a concession building and grandstands, with both fields being capable of serving as host sites for high school and college baseball and softball.

The seven other fields will be more traditional with the ability to easily adjust dimensions based on the type of event being hosted.

The master plan for the complex makes use of more land around the Black Warrior River - city staff said an area of property they expected to be designated as wetlands was found to be viable for development and the master plan has been tweaked accordingly.

River Run Park is one several projects planned in Northport that will make the city of 31,000-plus a go-to location for outdoor activities.

The River Run Park project was used by Kentuck as one of the justifications for moving the nationally recognized October arts festival of the arts to Tuscaloosa.

For more from the city of Northport and the recreation projects as they develop, stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread.

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