Academy Sports + Outdoors to open new Huntsville store at old Walmart location on Drake Ave

Walmart site

The old Walmart store at Drake Avenue and Memorial Parkway will be demolished to make room for an Academy Sports + Outdoors. (Photo: Kristen Conner/WHNT News 19)

HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – 100 new jobs are coming to the Huntsville area as Academy Sports + Outdoors announces plans to open the company’s 16th location in Alabama.

Academy Sports + Outdoors announced Tuesday that it will open a new store in Huntsville next year at the intersection of Memorial Parkway and Drake Avenue. This will mark the company’s third location in the Huntsville area including Decatur and Madison.

Academy Sports + Outdoors

“We are excited to open another convenient location for active-minded families in Huntsville to shop for all their sports, outdoor and lifestyle needs at our everyday low prices,” says Ken Attaway, Academy Sports + Outdoors executive vice president, chief operating officer. “We’re looking forward to opening next year and continuing to be an active member of the Huntsville community.”

The 63,000 square foot store will bring approximately 100 new jobs to the area, the company said. It will provide similar services to the existing locations in Decatur and Madison such as scope mounting, bore sighting, line winding/spooling, propane exchange, racquet stringing and will sell hunting and fishing licenses along with local team licensed apparel and novelty items.

Mayor Tommy Battle said Wednesday, it took a little time to fill that space.

"I think there were 14 owners in the entity that finally sold the property," he said, "so working through those 14 owners, and they're all from out of town, was a little bit of a challenge."

Harrison Diamond, Business Relations Officer for Huntsville, said this site is an important one in Huntsville.

"It's one of our corridors of heaviest traffic," he said, "and this will also help to redevelop the entire area."

The hope is that this announcement sparks more, but Battle said that dream can't entirely take shape in the undeveloped parts of the city along South Memorial Parkway until the construction is over.

"We've got to finish the Parkway," he said. "Once you finish that, people will invest and people will invest in those properties... as long as you're doing construction on the Parkway, that holds up development all the way up and down that corridor."