February 8, 2009
It is our understanding that the old Cash Distributing building is being considered for conversion into a basketball gym for our local youth. If the city commits to that, it is very evident that the sportsplex will be postponed once again and our many soccer children will have to wait for a suitable set-up for soccer competitions. Our current soccer fields are not suitable for hosting a competitive event. Our fields are not level, hold water, etc.
We would like to suggest that the city council consider the revenue that a new soccer complex could generate for Columbus.
Soccer competitions bring in children and their parents/family for usually a two-day competition from varying parts of the state. These families would spend the night here, eat here, and shop here. When you realize that you have at least four local teams playing three to five other teams can earn revenue in the neighborhood of at least $70,000 per competition.
With the usual three to four soccer competitions each year the revenue generated for the city would be quite significant. How much revenue will a new basketball gym generate?
As grandparents of a young boy whose heart is in soccer and has been playing for several years, we are more than concerned. Our soccer teams have traveled all over the state of Mississippi to competitions so we are quite aware of the cost involved in competitive soccer.
We would personally rather spend our money in Columbus and generate revenue for our city. We also want the city of Columbus to support our young soccer players with their decision as well as our other sports. Please consider the importance of all our children in the city as well as the impact of such a significant increase in our city revenue when you make your decision. Thank you for your consideration.
Butch & Kathy Hill
Theresa Bell commented at 2/9/2009 11:17:00 AM:
I agree totally. My daughter has been playing in Columbus for 6 years and every year we hear about this new sportsplex. Unfortunately, I think my daughter will be in college before they ever start a complex. It's unfortunate because of all the talent we have in Columbus. These children will probably miss out on some scholarships because of our playing conditions.
Peter commented at 2/10/2009 11:45:00 AM:
The soccer complex sounds great, but I don't like the location that has been floated. I've heard it proposed that the complex be located off of 82 near the Riverwalk... just as you come into town from Starkville. Soccer complexes may be great for the community but I've never seen one that looked good. It would be a shame to clear that wooded area that currently serves as a peaceful entrance to the city.
mikemccullough commented at 2/10/2009 1:50:00 PM:
I agree with the other posters. Have something that will bring in out of town revenue. There are plenty of places that kids and adults can go shoot hoops now. One is the YMCA. Some might say that it is not in a very centralized location or it might cost a few bucks to be a part of. Is it not suitable because you have to mind your manners there? An open air soccer complex will be healthy and promote the sport to the city more plus promote the city to out of towners. I remember when you use to drive by Propst Park 20/30/40/50 years ago and it would be jumping with everything from Baseball to Boy Scout meetings. We could go swimming,skating or play miniture golf. Some folks would even be doing a little fishing off the banks.There were also lighted tennis courts that were being used,picnics and the 100 mile go-cart races every year. What is wrong with an out door sports complex. We use to have a fine one didn't we,everything within less than a half mile radius? The location of the Cash building is not that good and what about parking. What can really be promoted there other than a hang-out. I will also venture to say the building will end up being a canvas for taggers (graffiti)... Just my opinions. What ever is done should be done right.If you can't do it correct and with some class so the majority of the public will salute the complex then don't even start it. The Children of Columbus deserve as good as we had years ago. Go forward not backward. Invest money in quality and not quick fixes.