Sunday , 22 October 2017

City Says No To Soccer Complex

City Says No To Soccer Complex

City Says No To Soccer Complex

The request for a grant in the amount of $300,000 for a soccer complex in Craig Ranch, which was brought before City Council Tuesday night by former Manchester United pro soccer player, Gordon Hill, and G.H. Sports Group, was denied.  McKinney Community Development Corporation (MCDC) had approved the request in February, but amounts dispersed by the board of $100,000 and over must also be approved by City Council.

In her presentation of the recommendation to Council, MCDC Executive Director Cindy Schneible noted that giving the funds for the grant for the soccer complex met the goals of the MCDC, which are:

  • Developing and strengthening the physical amenities for recreational and leisure opportunities.
  • Developing quality community-wide focal points.
  • Promoting and encouraging the safe and attractive image of McKinney 

Schneible also said that research on similar complexes in the area showed a demand for turf fields that could also be used by such entities as the Home School Association, as well as by corporations for team building exercises and leagues.

Hill had requested the $300,000 grant for construction of an artificial turf sports complex which would be built along Stacy Road in Craig Ranch. The complex, which was estimated to cost a total of $2.6 million, was to feature a changing facility, areas to sit comfortably and have a cup of coffee or tea, and an artificial turf field, which could be used regardless of weather conditions.

The proposal for a partnership between the city and G.H. Sports would have allowed the city to have 10 prime time and 40 non-prime time hours of field use per week at no charge, however, Lemuel Randolph, Director of Parks, Recreation & Open Space, told council that the “Park District has issues with terms of use.” Randolf said that there is not a need for more fields during non-prime time hours of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., but the need is for field usage during after school hours.

According to Hill, an economic feasibility study showed that the potential economic impact to the city from tax revenues brought in by the soccer project would be $3.8 million in ten years.

During council discussion, Councilman David Brooks (At – Large) said that the city has a long list of projects to address now and funding is tight. Several members of council voiced concerns about giving public money to the private sector when the city has a responsibility to make certain basic needs, such as functioning sewer and water are met first.

City Council voted unanimously to deny the request.

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