The Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority (BCTDA) awarded five Buncombe County community projects nearly $4 million yesterday from the Tourism Product Development Fund (TPDF). Among the projects was a $350,000 grant for Phase II of Montreat College’s Pulliam Stadium project on its Black Mountain campus. The grant will help fund the addition of stadium seating, a press box with a full sound system, stadium lighting, additional parking, softball lighting, track and field equipment, and landscaping.
“We are thankful to the BCTDA for their support of the Pulliam Stadium project,” said Montreat College President Paul J. Maurer. “This grant will help us make the additions necessary to host major additional regional sporting events, increasing the number of visitors to Buncombe County. It will also help the college attract new students, which will also result in regional economic gain.”
Phase I of Pulliam Stadium, completed this past year, included a state-of-the-art eight-lane, 400-meter running track, a 115-yard by 75-yard “replicated grass” turf athletic field, a new softball field, and restroom facilities.
“An athletic complex of this caliber is unique to the region,” said President Maurer. “It has already allowed us to host a number of regional athletic events. And the Phase II additions will allow us to host additional multi-day events, evening events, and track and field competitions which require hammer, discus, and shot put facilities.”
Funding for Phase I of Pulliam Stadium was provided by $2 million in gifts from an anonymous donor and Montreat College alumnus Rusty Pulliam, class of 1978, a successful real estate developer in the region. The cost of Phase II is estimated at $700,000, half of which will be funded by the TPDF grant.
Other projects receiving funding from the TPDF yesterday included Asheville Community Theatre expansion and renovation, U.S. Cellular Center theatre creation and meeting room conversion, WNC Farmers Market revitalization, and improvements to the Diana Wortham Theatre.