I do not speak for any soccer associations, my opinion is only offered based on 14 years of experience of school and club travel in Mobile and Huntsville. While I applaud any and all efforts to build a long overdue city/county soccer complex, the proposed locations and sizes are wrong for Mobile’s soccer players and fans. Can you imagine the coaches trying to shout directions over the roar of traffic on I-65 and I-10? As soccer season is year round sport between school and club (travel) associations, the other complex will have to compete with no less than eight baseball or softball fields and four basketball courts and a future football field for parking and other services. Not to mention the fields are not uniform in size which is what is required for attaching regional tournaments.
One of the best soccer complex’s in the Southeast is located in Decatur, Ala., the Jack Allen Complex which draws soccer tournaments from all over the region.
The entire soccer community and I thank the county commissioners and city council for their leadership and efforts in building a first class soccer complex. If we are to compete with Baldwin County to our east and Harrison County to our west and Birmingham to our north, to attract visiting soccer tournaments, we need to model our soccer complex after successful soccer fields and improve upon those models. Let’s not reinvent the wheel.
I understand the rational for combining other areas of interest into the soccer complex, it is an easier sell for the competing tax dollars to build the facility, but it will not work to serve the soccer community nor attract regional tournaments and tax dollars. If Mobile wants to compete for the large regional soccer tournaments that bring in hundreds of families on any given weekend, let’s make it a first class soccer complex where coaches and players from all over the Southeast will want to come play, stay and spend their hard earned dollars in our restaurants, hotels, attractions, beaches, fueling stations and other services.
Frederick E. Walch, IV
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