The other day in When will the kids play we pointed out that our new professional soccer franchise cut a deal with the city to use two existing city owned soccer fields for their practices.
The terms of the deal required the franchise to pay to improve the fields and to maintain them. In return the team was granted control over the usage of the fields.
A few days later the Times published an article that clarified our city government’s expectations.
Our new city engineer explained that the fields will still be available to the kids when the team is not practicing or performing maintenance or letting the fields rest. He indicated that the fields will probably be available for public use on Saturdays and for some tournaments.
The article did not include any commentary from the team.
The team will spend half a million dollars improving the fields and having the professional players practice at the sports complex will give local youth an opportunity to observe a much higher level of play than they would normally be exposed to.
This could turn out to be a good deal for the community.
Unfortunately city council did not see the need to see to it that the contract assures that we get what the city engineer expects.
We deserve better
They should be paying rent to use a city facility. Like anyone else.
Mountainstar always has a self-serving angle. According to their promotion material, access to the practice sessions on those fields will be restricted to season pass holders. Odds are they will also sell tickets to practice sessions. Once again, Mountainstar is going to generate income on taxpayers’ backs with the city not collecting a fair share of the revenue. Who is going to pay for security during the practice sessions? It was BS when people said that Mountainstar’s use of those fields is an opportunity for youth soccer players to meet and be around pros.
I think they’ve spread enough money around CC to get about anything they want.
This is fundamentally wrong. The taxpayers built that facility for kids to have better soccer fields. Allowing a pro team to deny access to practice viewing on a taxpayer owned field is a violation of what Q of L bond voters voted for. But I guess that “what the voters voted for” is only a legitimate rationale when the city is trying to fulfill a promise to a big donor and put in the location that donor wants.
Should have said put an arena in the location that donor wants.
Jerry K: they are paying rent, about a half million dollars
Yeah, and a portion of that has to be put in reserve for maintenance on the facility plus last year the city anted up more maintenance money than was contractually required for supposed safety enhancements that likely included modifications for soccer. In short, there isn’t much “rent” income to offset the cost of this public-private partnership to taxpayers.