Council To Focus On Funding New Soccer Fields - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/6/07

Council To Focus On Funding New Soccer Fields

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Lubbock City Council Members agree that plans need to move forward.  Now, they have to decide how to fund new soccer fields.

Councilman John Leonard recommended a citizen task force study the issue, but other members feared that would delay the project even longer. 

Thursday afternoon, council asked city staff to come up with the proposals.  The mayor wants them by December 20th, and he hopes to award contracts as close to the new year as possible.

NewsChannel 11 wanted to know how the Lubbock Soccer Association felt about Thursday's discussion.

"I think that the city council is headed in the right direction, and they're working to rectify our situation," Lubbock Soccer Association President Billy Babcock said. 

He called Thursday's talks good news. The city purchased land with money from a 2004 bond election, but players have waited for new fields since that time.

"We currently have about 2,800 kids registered, and then we also host on an average weekend around 20 out of town teams, so we probably have 3,500 to 4,000 kids out here on the weekend," Babcock said. 

Babcock says their current facility at the Berl Huffman Sports Complex doesn't provide enough parking or bathrooms, and the fields need work.

"Parks and Recreation has taken some steps to rectify that, but teams still don't want to come here because it's not a quality field," Babcock said. 

The Soccer Association says that new fields won't just benefit the players; they say the potential to get more folks in the stands could really benefit the Lubbock economy.

"When I did the numbers, I was mind boggled as to how much money we actually bring to this city," Babcock said. 

He says the new fields would also open new opportunities for Lubbock to host major tournaments, bringing more folks to the Hub City. He says Thursday's talks have them one step closer to their goal.

"We could play out there as early as fall 2009; I don't look for it until 2010, but that is a really viable date," Babcock said. 

The latest estimates have the total cost for new fields coming in around $10.2 million.

Parks & Recreation
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