North Carolina’s Piedmont Triad, a region known for its thriving industrial culture, located between Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point, is getting a new resident. In early October, Sportsfield Specialties, Inc. will join the list of top-name manufacturers doing business in the heart of the Piedmont.
For over 20 years, Sportsfield, whose central headquarters is based in Upstate NY, has been the industry-leading manufacturer of sports construction equipment for all levels of play. Their soft goods operation, which produces netting systems, padding, and mats, will move from its current location in Salisbury, NC to a new facility in Mocksville (Davie County). The impetus for the move is the increased demand for products like large-scale barrier netting systems and sweeping graphic wall pad displays.
To put it into context, Sportsfield has been at the forefront of MLB’s protective netting expansions since 2015 when the league’s Commissioner, Rob Manfred, recommended clubs expand safety barriers down the foul line—currently their product can be found in 23 MLB stadiums and countless practice facilities.
And that’s not all, the company’s equipment can be found in schools, parks, and universities across North America and the stadiums of high-profile teams like MLB’s Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees; NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and Miami Dolphins; and Major League Soccer’s DC United and St. Louis City SC. In the tar heel state specifically, Sportsfield’s products can be spotted at Panther Stadium, Wake Forest, Duke University, and at the ballparks of MiLB teams the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, High Point Rockers, Charlotte Knights, and Durham Bulls to name a few.
Matt Schwirtz, North Carolina Operations Manager, explained that Sportsfield’s success comes from the company’s innovative contributions to the athletic field equipment industry. “We’re manufacturing products that solve problems and clients know they can trust. Our success has led to more demand, and as a result, we’ve grown out of our Salisbury plant.”
Schwirtz said the new 77k square foot facility in Mocksville increases Sportsfield’s production space by approximately 11k square feet and the offices by 7k square feet. In addition, the company announced a $2.3MM building expansion project, which will add another 30k square feet to the plant. The move is slated to add approximately 20 new jobs over the next two years in production, operations, engineering, and administration. “Most of our current employees will make the move to Mocksville and are looking forward to working at the new facility,” Schwirtz added.
Critical upgrades to the operation include doubling the pad and netting system sewing capacity; netting system work-area tripled in size; increased number of loading docks—from 3 to 11; easy interstate access; climate-controlled digital printing production area; increased warehouse capacity; enhanced shop flow with increased square footage and modern amenities; contemporary office space for sales, design, and administrative staff; and state-of-the-art conference room technology.
Sean Clark, President of Sportsfield said, “This initiative provides our operations and production team with the necessary space, resources, and working environment to perform at the highest level possible.” He added that the move and expansion will further Sportsfield’s ability to “deliver a standard of product quality and service that clients depend on, while supporting the company’s commitment to growth and market innovation.”
The team at Sportsfield isn’t only excited by the new facility, they are looking forward to joining the Davie County community. “We’ve enjoyed getting to know fellow business leaders and local officials, who’ve all made us feel welcomed in Mocksville. We’re proud to be joining this community and look forward to becoming a contributing member,” Clark said.
Terry Bralley, President of Davie County Economic Development shares the sentiment, stating that Sportsfield is a welcome addition to the community. He explained that the town of Mocksville and Davie County are home to numerous well-known manufacturers producing items such as textiles, furniture, and commercial airline components, but until now, there hasn’t included a sports equipment manufacturer. For Bralley, diversified industry is important to supporting the regional economy. Bralley said, “Economic diversity is essential for growing a healthy and sustainable economy. [It] opens the doors for providing the goods and services a growing community needs. We are pleased to have hit another home run, and stepped into the major leagues, as we welcome Sportsfield Specialties to Mocksville.”
Sportsfield Specialties’ move to Mocksville, NC is one that benefits all involved. The larger, modernized facility will provide an improved work environment for employees and allow for more efficient processes. Additionally, in joining the Piedmont’s thriving manufacturing community, Sportsfield is helping to enhance the economic strength of the region and in Davie County.