Tormenta FC stadium breaks ground and announces new Publix for Statesboro

Elizabeth Gross

Darin Van Tassell, owner of Tormenta FC announced Wednesday that a Publix will be coming to Statesboro as well as other new businesses at the Tormenta FC stadium groundbreaking ceremony.

The Publix will be 52,000 square feet and it is one of the newer models, Van Tassell said.

“Listen, sports does a lot of things, but grocery stores do a lot more things for us, and you had to know Statesboro to know how thirsty it was for a place like Publix,” Van Tassell said.

Van Tassell recalled a conversation he had that lead him to start development on a Statesboro Publix.

“This county yearns for high-end grocery stores,” Van Tassell said. “We’ve got to bring a grocery store here. I said, ‘What’s Publix’s number? Let’s get their number. Let’s call them.’”

In addition to Publix, Van Tassell said that there will be an original health-oriented restaurant, a movie theater, hotels, another Eagle Creek Brewery location, other various retail spaces and residential areas around the stadium.

“This whole area rebrands the city,” Van Tassell said. “It gives us a place to live, work and play and add to those areas that are already in Statesboro and it will, I think, continue to make it an attractive place for people to move into, for more students to come to our university, more students to stay and raise families and become apart of that place that we all call home.”

Many GS students attended the groundbreaking ceremony, including Kendra Burrow, a junior pre-medicine biology major.

“I’m excited for pub-subs, because those are pretty great,” Burrow said. “It’s nice to have somewhere other than Bi-Lo and Walmart to shop at.”

Van Tassell said the new soccer stadium will be able to hold 14,000 people, and that space can also be used for concerts.

“In case you wondered, 14,000 is about that magic number to get those kinds of performers in here that you would be seeing who are quite popular,” Van Tassell said.

GS students will be able to purchase tickets for Tormenta soccer games for a reduced price of $1, Van Tassell said, and the GS soccer teams will be able to use the new stadium during their fall seasons.

Statesboro mayor Jonathan McCollar also attended the groundbreaking.

“This is a win for the community,” McCollar said. “Not only are we getting a professional-level soccer team, a sport that’s loved around the world, but we are now creating an economic area that’s going to have a huge impact on our community and throughout this region.”

McCollar said that the new developments will increase the quality of life for GS students.

The goal is for the new development to be completed by next year, but Van Tassell is not certain if this is possible yet.

Elizabeth Gross, The George-Anne News Reporter, [email protected]