THE starting gun is about to be fired on a new sporting era in the region.
The finishing touches have been put on stage one of the Northern Inland Centre for Sporting Excellence and it will be officially opened to the public on Saturday.
The $17.2 million stage one of the project includes and international standard track and field athletics facility and a new velodrome.
It also included a new arena at AELEC.
The council will have an open day at the facilities on Saturday where people can give the new tracks a whirl.
Cyclists are encouraged to bring their bikes to ride on the velodrome.
If you'd rather leave it to the pros, a number of Tamworth sporting clubs will put on a showcase on the day.
Tamworth Regional Council's manager of sports and recreation Paul Kelly said this work and future stages of the project would earn the city a top title.
"We are already working with a few state sporting bodies and we will hopefully host some state and national championships here in Tamworth, which is a great boon for the region," Mr Kelly said.
"We are also planning for some more stages to really solidify us as the regional hub for sport."
The council is hoping the open day will be a huge event this weekend.
There have been a range activities organised for the day and there will be a number of food stalls set up as well.
The mayor said the facility's opening was a milestone for the city.
"Thousands of residents were part of the AELEC opening and the Sports Dome opening, come and celebrate this significant project too," he said.
"This is a significant facility which puts us on the map - it takes our region's ability to host major sporting events to the next level and gives our residents access to top quality facilities."
The first stage of the sporting centre was jointly funded by the council ($4.45 million), the federal government ($8.5 million) and the state government ($4.25 million).
The opening event starts at 10am on Saturday.