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Official Heritage Sports Center groundbreaking set

Demolition at the former Clyde Iron industrial site have been under way for more than a month. Now, the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Duluth Heritage Sports Center is set for Aug. 8.

Demolition at the former Clyde Iron industrial site have been under way for more than a month. Now, the official groundbreaking ceremony for the Duluth Heritage Sports Center is set for Aug. 8.

Everyone is invited to attend the 4 p.m. event near 29th Avenue West and West Michigan Street. The Boys and Girls Club kids and local athletes representing soccer, hockey, softball, baseball, track, golf and tennis will be on hand as well as community leaders and the volunteer team that put together the complicated $15.6 million multi-sport complex.

As of last month, Heritage Sports Center Board President Dick Loraas said they needed another $4.9 million to complete both phases of the project by next winter. At the groundbreaking, board members said they will update the public on their fundraising, according to a news release by the nonprofit organization.

The first phase, which will include a hockey rink and new home for the Boys and Girls Club, is scheduled to be complete by the end of this year. The second phase, which will have a multi-sport field house, should be finished by next year.

Construction is also expected to begin this fall on the $14 million Clyde Park. Duluth businessman Alex Giuliani and his partners plan to build a hotel, marketplace, brewery, indoor soccer field and sports training facility in renovated brick, wood and steel buildings at the historic former industrial iron works.

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Giuliani donated the land for the Heritage Sports Center, which also partnered with the city of Duluth, Duluth School District, state of Minnesota and Duluth Amateur Hockey Association.

The arena will be the future home of Duluth High School Hockey; and the entire project is expected to attracted dozens of sport tournaments and thousands of people to one of Duluth's poorest neighborhoods each year. Community leaders hope it will spark a renaissance in the area.

For information on how to get involved in the project, visit duluthheritagesportscenter.com or call 727-2626.

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