Help Our Soccer Community Ė Contact our City Council Members
Jun 26 2012 - LSC Staff
Dear LSC Members:
Please read below and contact our city council, we need to make a difference for the game. For a PDF version of this request, please CLICK HERE.
To send one email to all Council Members, please CLICK HERE
Email Mayor Lee Leffingwell
Email Mayor Pro Tem Sheryl Cole (Place 6)
Email Chris Riley, Council Member Place 1
Email Mike Martinez, Council Member Place 2
Email Kathie Tovo, Council Member Place 3
Email Laura Morrison, Council Member Place 4
Email Bill Spelman, Council Member Place 5
The City of Austin created a Bond Task Force to review and recommend how bond dollars should be distributed throughout the City of Austin in the upcoming bond election. The Parks and Open Space Committee of the Bond Task Force was responsible for making recommendations to the Austin City Council regarding allocation of such funds, including all CoA park development. One particular project was brought to LSC's attention during this recommendation/review period: planned development of what PARD is calling the Walnut Creek Sports Complex.
The City of Austin already owns a large parcel of land along Johnny Morris Road, just south of Hwy 290, and has very preliminary plans for development of Walnut Creek Sports Complex, which would accommodate a variety of sports. Included in this development would be 12-16 soccer fields, 8 baseball/softball fields, tennis courts, sand volley ball courts, and a couple of multi-use fields. CoA PARD has already approached several user groups in Austin to gauge interest in public-private partnerships for development of the complex. At the initial meeting, they set an expectation of a development cost of $250K per soccer field, which is a turnkey rate that includes all infrastructure at the complex including parking lots and restrooms (it does not include lights, which they estimate at an additional $100K per field). Doing the math, this would necessitate $3-4M just for soccer field development, which is far beyond any budget that any club or league in Austin can afford to spend to help with development.
The Task Force recommendations have been finalized and forwarded on to the City Council. Unfortunately, the Walnut Creek Sports Complex WAS NOT included as a recommendation by the Parks and Open Space Committee/Bonds Task Force to the City Council. In fact, no new parks developments were included in the recommendations.
As you have likely experienced as a member of the soccer community in Austin, our City drastically lacks the supply of soccer fields to meet the demand for soccer fields for youths and adults. If additional fields are important to you, it is imperative that we, the members of the Austin soccer community, advocate to the City Council about the need for the Walnut Creek Sports Complex. Even though the Task Force did not include WCSC in their recommendations, you should ask the City Council to include funding for development of the Walnut Creek Sports Complex (total cost estimated at $7M) as part of the Bond Election. The City Council reserves the right to add or remove anything from the allocations, even after
they have received the recommendations from the Task Force. In fact, they did so in the period leading up to the last Bond Election in Austin.
I write to you on behalf of the Austin soccer community regarding the dire need for additional soccer fields in the Austin area, and how this relates to the upcoming Bond Election in Austin. To frame this properly, please consider the following statistics:
~Austin Men's Soccer Association membership comprises over 3000 players
~Greater Austin Soccer Coalition membership, including LSC, Austin Coed Soccer Association (ACSA), and Austin Women's Soccer League (AWSL), is comprised of over 5000 players
~Hispanic Leagues and smaller leagues: Another 2-4K
~Lonestar Soccer Club, the largest youth club in Austin, comprises 8000 players, ages 5-18
~All other organized youth play in Austin can be estimated at another 8000 players
~Total estimated players in organized leagues: 25K, roughly
~Currently in the Austin metro area, there are only 20 City of Austin public fields, 28 County Fields, and 16 private ones
~Between CoA public fields and County Fields, that's over 500 players per field
~If you estimate 15 players per team, and 5 games in a day, a single field can accommodate 150 players per day
~Thus, we need over 3 times the current supply of fields in Austin JUST TO accommodate current field demand, not even forecasting for the expected population boom occurring in Austin currently!
~Related note: A single field begins to deteriorate with more than 15 hours of play in a given week. It is important to understand that any more than that will completely ruin a field over a short amount of time, especially with the drought conditions and watering restrictions we face in Austin.
LSC have been in close contact with Austin PARD, and attended a meeting at which PARD shared with us prospective plans for the development of the Walnut Creek Sport Complex (WCSC). We understand that the City already owns the land, located along Johnny Morris Road just south of Highway 290, and estimates $7M in development expenses for the project. However, the City of Austin currently has no money available or allocated for the development.
We would like to stress the dire importance of additional fields to the continued quality of life and fitness in the Austin area. The project at WCSC, with the potential addition of 12-16 soccer fields in conjunction with several other multi-use and use-specific sports fields, would make major strides towards meeting current and future demands for field space. We strongly urge the City Council to include specific mention of Walnut Creek Sports Complex and allocation of bond money for development of this specific project in the upcoming Bond Election in November 2012.
Lonestar SC welcome the opportunity to discuss this further with any and/or all of the members of our City Council at a time of your convenience. Please let us know if you might have a few moments for us, or any recommendations on other avenues through which to spread the word on our needs. Please don't hesitate to contact LSC directly at our office at 512-336-5425 x5, or at email@example.com.
Thanks in advance for your time and efforts, and thanks to Matt Prewett and the AMSA for pulling most of this data together.
Lonestar Soccer Club
LSC-CCU Recreational Program
LSC-AUC Recreational Program
12325 Hymeadow Dr, Suite 1-200
Austin, TX 78750
NTH: Office: 512.336.5425 ext. 5
STH Office: 512-899-1049