ABINGDON, Va. (WJHL) – A long awaited day for many, after almost a decade, The Meadows Sports Complex is open for the residents of Southwest Virginia to enjoy.

A ribbon cutting was held Saturday, although wintry weather postponed the first official games on the fields.

“Once we see the kids out there with their smiling faces it’s going to make all of this worthwhile,” Derek Webb, Mayor of Abingdon, said. “The community’s been so supportive. We’re just so very excited to get to this point.”

There have been some obstacles along the way, countless hours and meetings to get to this point.

“Any time you sort of manipulate a green space you’re going to have some groups that just don’t like that, and they feel like it’s something that we shouldn’t do,” Webb said. “However, I think if you stare around at the complex today and you see all this beautiful green space it almost appears like it should have been here all along.”

Webb said there will be more additions to the sports complex in the coming months. A splash pad and a pump track for bikes is also in the works

Local supermarket chain Food City sponsors The Meadows and will be running the concession stands.

“This is hometown for us, you know, our corporate office right here in Abingdon,” Kevin Stafford, Vice President of Marketing with Food City said. “Obviously, community is super important to Food City and to have a complex of this magnitude with the ball field, soccer fields and a place where kids for generations to come can come and enjoy sports, it’s just a great thing for us here.”

It won’t just be local residents coming to the ballpark. It’s expected to be an economic driver, bringing families from all over the South.

Congressman Morgan Griffith said he’s excited to see the traffic it’ll bring to the area.

“There’s millions and millions of dollars that have been invested,” Griffith said. “The value will go for decades, and that’s what’s really important.”