SUBMITTED — New fields with top-quality turf, shiny new nets and a concession stand make Fairhope’s new Soccer Complex a giant leap for the community’s longtime soccer programs. But players and parents still lack sidewalks, shade, and safety fencing essential to a first-class tournament-ready complex. A new fundraising campaign launches with this new fall season to reach the final goal.

“Most people may not realize what a force soccer is in this community,” offered FSC President Dirk Flad. “Between our spring and fall seasons you’ll see at least 1000 recreation league players, 150 coaches and 120 volunteers. On any given Saturday morning – Fairhope families really come together on these fields. It’s a wonderful thing, and we want this new complex to be all it can and should be.”

The new Fairhope Soccer Complex opened this spring after years of planning and work between the City of Fairhope, the Fairhope Soccer Club and the Fairhope Single Tax Colony, which contributed the final funding for a concession/restroom complex. While the facility is a dramatic departure from the old fields at Founders Park – with barren grass, ant beds and tattered nets after 20+ years – several important gaps remain essential to safety and future growth.

“When you look at other soccer facilities around the state or just down the road in Foley, you find first-class amenities that our players here deserve as well. We need concrete sidewalks and expanded parking already – as our program is growing each season. The fields are fantastic, but we still have limited benches just for players. Most importantly, we need safety fencing to keep balls from flying between fields and onto Manley or CR 13. As large as this complex is, additional restrooms are a must. And if we want to host the kind of tournaments other cities are recruiting, we need bleachers as well.”

Fairhope’s tournament play already offers an economic impact of close to $1.5 million per event following a National Association of Sports Commission formula for lodging, food, gas and more when players, coaches and families are in town over a weekend. “We have an opportunity now to host twice the size and number of tournaments with these new fields – when they’re finished out to meet the kind of facilities Foley, Decatur and Montgomery can offer,” said Flad.

For more information on SCORE – The Campaign for the Fairhope Soccer Complex – visit www.fairhopescores.com