TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Pima County has approved $1.5 million to design Phase 1 of the Kino South Sports Complex, which will be located at Interstate 10 and Ajo Way.
The complex, once complete, will be the largest soccer complex in the state with 20 fields and a stadium.
It's thought the complex will draw national and international tournaments and means Tucsonans will no longer have to drive to Phoenix to watch their children in tournament play.
"I think the south side is basically undergoing an economic renaissance," said Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry. "The south side is catching up with the rest of the region."
Local business owners will attest to the fact the south side has a long way to go.
"You just have to go to the north side and compare," said Josue Solano, owner All Makes and Models Auto Repair on Benson Highway. "You'll see a big difference."
Solano believes having the complex in their backyard will make a substantial difference in how people perceive the south side.
"Opportunities on this side of town are definitely smaller," he said and agrees it's harder to make a living. "There are not as many opportunities."
Pima County received a lot of criticism for locating Kino Stadium on the south side 20 years ago. But Huckelberry believes time has proven it to be the right decision.
"It was located there to jump start economic development," he said. "I think we can pretty much say that's been a success."
The new complex will include hotel space, retail and a variety of other sports venues such as rugby, basketball and pickle ball.
"This time we're making sure to include opportunities for economic development, said Richard Elias, County Supervisor from District 5 "So it's not an isolated sporting venue and nothing else."