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Opponents of soccer complex along Jordan River want answers

Published: Monday, Feb. 21 2011 11:59 p.m. MST

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Schwa
South Jordan, UT

I get annoyed with people who lived in land that used to be rural 30 years ago and are upset with the encroaching growth of the city. It's called progress. Sorry.

texlds
Dallas, TX

"Why should a private enterprise be benefiting from that?"

Because sometimes what the private enterprise then gives back to the community is worth more than the tax money or tax breaks involved.

Note I said sometimes, not always. You have to look very closely at the specific assumptions for each deal in order to determine the expected return on the taxpayer's investment.

ksampow
Farr West, Utah

One critic says the future soccer complex would become like a Walmart. This is not a valid comparison. Soccer fields are covered with green grass - very good for the environment. And most parents I know would rather see their children on a soccer field than hanging out at Walmart. And by the way, Walmart is not necessarily a bad thing - unless you believe that the comforts of life should be reserved for those who are wealthy enough to shop at more exclusive stores.

H. Bob
Salt Lake City, UT

Texlds above has hit it on the head. The opponents of this are now officially grasping at straws. Why should, for example, the Utah Symphony benefit almost exclusively from SL County's building and ownership of Abravanel Hall? If the city builds something and a private entity pays the city for its use, what's the problem?
Having followed this project from the beginning, it's disappointing to see some of the same inaccurate reporting take place. RSL gave up on locating their academy here because of all of this. They've established a residential academy in Arizona (and are about to sign one or two of their first "home-grown" players to a professional contract). That ship has sailed, largely because of the mendacity of the Rocky Anderson administration. If RSL ever does have anything to do with this complex, it will only be if the city begs them to.

axle
Riverton, UT

It gets kind of silly that all these people run behind RSL trying to destroy every move they make. I really don't think RSL is going to take over the world, they are just trying to do what it takes to make their business successful. RSL will use 5 fields out of 23 if I read the article correctly, I think kids will still get to use the place, and many of those kids will be inspired to work hard in hopes that they can get to play on those 5 fields.

BYUBenji
Provo, UT

ksampow: She said it would become a WalMart in 15 years. She did not compare soccer fields to Walmart.

The complex and the youth academy sound great. I don't understand the opposition. I think the woman who made the WalMart comment is wrong. Soccer is increasing in popularity and they would get plenty of use out of the fields. Especially if RSL was allowed to do everything as discussed in the article.

bigsoccer
Syracuse, UT

Its area's like this that keep all the mosquitoes around. No one goes there to hang out.

SLA
Farmington, Utah

It is so very frustrating when the needs of a few outweigh the needs of the many... One of the most outspoken critics of this site is not interested in the community, but in her own selfish interests see quote, Opponents of the project, including Salt Lake resident Lucy Knorr, paint a much less rosy picture. Knorr keeps horses in a stable near the site of the soccer complex, and she regularly rides in the open space there.. So we should not build the complex and we should not provide for the youth of the community so Ms. Knorr can ride her horse?? Hmmm. If this was another paved mall or another big-box warehouse store, the opposition may have merit, as it is, it is pettiness and the desire for the community to provide for them, something that is not theirs to own. This complex has the ability to provide a positive recreational opportunity for thousands, let us not cower to the loud and shrill, but make decisions based on the needs and opportunities for the many.

Madden
Herriman, UT

Public-private partnerships happen all the time, arguing against this on that principle makes you sound like a fool.

Arguing that property owners don't have rights and are simply fighting "progress" makes you sound like an even bigger fool though.

Independent
Henderson, NV

"Knorr keeps horses in a stable near the site of the soccer complex, and she regularly rides in the open space there."

So now we get to the real issue. It's okay for her to use it to ride horses, but if thousands of kids play soccer there, it's a waste of government resources.

Steve-o
Ogden, UT

Oh no... please don't let them build a world class facility on this beautiful brown field!!! And the Jordan River... where will this water flow? A peice of paper might fall into the river and kill some algae, then the fish will all die and we'll starve to death in 15 years. Wal Mart won't have anything to stock on the shelves. aahhahaahhahhhh!

cowshed
Provo, Utah

It's interesting that there is a concern at this point about spending public funds to benefit a private entity (in this case Real Salt Lake). Public funds have already been spent to benefit Real Salt Lake when their stadium was built. Politicians and others supporting the stadium argued at the time that the funds would be paid back from added hotel taxes. While that may be true, are not hotel taxes, and any other taxes, public funds?

I personally proposed via calls to a couple of talk radio shows at the time that the money would be much better spent building soccer fields around the state for youth soccer leagues. That could have been done for much less tax money, and there would have been no issue about using public funds to benefit a private entity.

Professional sports teams have been feeding at the public trough for too long. Professional franchises tend to appreciate in value over time, but I've never heard of any government funds being reimbursed by the owner when the franchise is sold, often at millions or billions in profits. Only the owner, who originally fleeced the public, benefits financially.

myself
Salt Lake City, UT

@ Americanwithnohyphen
If you are opposed to the project come out and say it instead of trying to insult those who support it.

Poqui
Murray, UT

Let me see if I can put some facts together from memory...

Public approval of $15M for project: 2003

Real Salt Lake formed: 2004

RSL commits $7M for soccer complex: 2005

Rocky blows a gasket and halts the process: 2006

RSL offers to lease fields for practice even though it will in essence have paid for 1/3 of the project.

I think SL City and County blew it. Mayor Rocky and Mayor Cartoon didn't do their homework and rode the public sentiment wave that led them to this fiasco.

RSL has a fine practice field now in Lehi and no longer needs a place. RSL has an academy in Casa Grande, AZ and no longer needs one here. So Feedle Dee and Feedle Dum..., thanks for nothing.

IF RSL decides to use the soccer complex and build an academy there the city needs to be very accommodating after dropping the ball.

sisucas
San Bernardino, CA

The biggest problem with this plan is that Americans simply don't care about soccer. Maybe build some football or basball fields or soemthing else useful. There are few opportunities for youth to get scholarships for soccer, expecially boys and professional positions in the US pay poorly. Why waste time and resources on a sport that bores us?

Pavalova
Surfers Paradise, AU

@sisucas
"...sport that bores us" Really? That's the best you could do. Yea, let's play more baseball...that's not boring. Hey it's been a half hour and the first inning just finished.

You may want to do a little research on the scholarship opportunities that are available to soccer players in many NCAA programs. With the U joining the Pac12, that opens up many doors that would grow locally from these fields.

Your soccer hatred and ignorance are showing...but then again, that's just who you are.

other
Salt Lake City, UT

Besides the $15 million approved for the bond, the city has gone and spent over $4 million to buy additional adjacent lands, presumably for the soccer academy- with no public input. The bond will now pay for only have of what was promised and will not even include the necessary infrastructure.

The infrastructure would be included in "Phase two" if additional $17 million in funding can be obtained. And this is all assuming Salt Lake Real will cough up $7 million when they have been unable to pay taxes recently. The additional costs can be largely attributed to the problems with the chosen site- other potential sites would cost a lot less, but have been ignored by the city. The project was originally a "Sports Complex", including some softball and rugby fields. But Phase one will only include soccer fields- it is a soccer complex, not a sports complex. The should be put on the ballot for a revote.

The project is being built in a flood plain with mosquito problems. And neighborhood kids will not be playing at the complex unless they pay. It will not be a place for neighborhood kids to hang out and play.

Bomar
Roberts, ID

I may be naive, but does the city have Tennis Academies? Basketball Academies? Baseball Academies? It sounds to me as if Ralphie has been bought off in addition to shoving Soccer down the throats of the good citizens of SLC. If Real needs a practie facility, I would suggest that they do it themselves, after all Real has been so generous in sharing their publicly financed facility.

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