Mobile United Futbol Club has leased property from the city and is moving ahead with plans to construct a training field and park at the former site of Greystone church and school.
Mobile United President Wayne Etheridge said the club approached Mayor Sandy Stimpson about leasing the city-owned land, clearing it and constructing a soccer field and other park ammenities to benefit not only the soccer teams but also the community at large.
“Most major youth clubs have a place to call home, but we didn’t… until now,” Etheridge said. “We’re going to retain as many trees as possible and add some picnic tables.”
In addition to the almost regulation-sized soccer field being constructed on the land, Etheridge said a nearby gym would be renovated to accomodate a special needs soccer program and a padded walking trail would be added and open to the public. In all, Mobile United will spend about $100,000 upgrading the facility, according to Etheridge.
The public-private partnership was “music to our ears,” Stimpson said at a press conference annoucing the lease Wednesday morning.
“This was a facility that was not really being maintained,” he said. “Not only are they building these fields, but they are doing some upgrades as well.”
Councilman John Williams said the agreement is another example of a politician keeping a promise.
“Sandy said we’re going to make this a family-friendly city and he is,” Williams said. “This is long overdue. I applaud the administration and Mobile United.”
The city entered into a 10-year lease with Mobile United for $1 per year. The Mobile City Council has already approved the agreement, and the fields are expected to be in use by spring 2020.
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