Local KIA purchases naming right to RBC sports complex


By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor

The Etowah County Mega Sports Complex Authority will soon have an official name for its facility off Kinsey Road.

During the authority’s first quarterly meeting of the 2023-24 fiscal year on October 18, the board of directors approved a motion to allow Kia of Rainbow City to purchase the naming rights for the Sportsplex for two years at $30,000 per year. As of January 1, 2024, the facility will be known as the KIA Sports Plex RBC.

Board chairman Randy Vice said that the deal had been in the works since the city’s drone show at the Vivian Maddox Sports Complex this past summer.

“Ben Wernert, the president of the Kia Store, and I had a conversation,” said Vice. “A few weeks later, Phillip Hollingsworth, who is the Rainbow City Parks and Recreation Director, and I showed Mr. Wernert the sports complex,” said Vice. “Everything came together from that point on.”

The Etowah County Mega Sports Complex Authority is the name of the authority who built the complex.

“This does not change our name as the Etowah County Mega Sports Complex Authority,” Vice added. “That name is determined by the legislation. We have the UPS Store and Blue Cross/Blue Shield as individual field sponsors, and we have four field sponsorships remaining. This is a great opportunity, not just for Rainbow City but for Etowah County. We’re all getting revenue.”

Vice, who is also the boys head soccer coach at Southside High, announced that the Sportsplex will host the first-ever Etowah County Soccer Tournament in late February, with eight boys teams and six girls teams participating.

“It’s all the county schools plus Geraldine,” said Vice. “We had Ashville as an invited participant, but they pulled out, so Geraldine came in to give us an even number. We’re very excited about having all of the schools there.”

The Rainbow City Classic hosted by Southside High School is scheduled for the weekend of Feb. 16, while the Clash on the Coosa JV Tournament is scheduled for March. The Spring State League schedule with Alabama Rush and Alabama FC will also take place at the facility.

Vice added that the schedule of events at the Sportsplex has been well-attended.

“We’ve been blowing it out of the water in terms of people,” he said. “We just had a tournament with teams from Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi. We’re also going to host a state referee certification in the spring, which will be really big. Everything is heading in the right direction.”

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