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Stenger unveils plans for large soccer complex

St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger has announced plans for the development of a large-scale soccer complex, targeted for Creve Coeur Park.

According to a press release from Stenger’s office, the St. Louis County Soccer Complex will be funded by the St. Louis Convention and Visitor’s Commission to the tune of $14 million. It is proposed to span 122 acres and will have 13 artificial, lighted turf soccer fields, including a championship field with bleacher seating for 500 spectators. In addition, the development will feature a main building with locker and meeting rooms, two youth fields and a satellite facility with restrooms and concessions.
The ultimate goal of the facility is to draw local, regional and national tournaments – up to 21 within three years of opening, according to the release –  which would have a large economic impact on the area. An estimated $7.7 in annual economic impact is expected from hotels, restaurants and facility rentals.

The county is anticipating scheduling more than 13,000 field hours at the facility, many of which will serve local youth, club and summer camp teams. The release says the goal is to host 21 tournaments per year within three years of opening.

The complex is estimated to be completed by 2017, with construction expected to begin in summer 2016.

Mike Laplante, manager for the Overland Park Soccer Complex, which generates $7-9 million per year and would be one of the proposed complexes nearest competitors, said that complex gets most of its tournament traffic from states contiguous to Kansas.

“But we’ve had teams from as far as Dallas and New York and Minnesota and Arkansas, also even Canada,” Laplante said. “It just depends on the tournament.”

The number of tournaments per year at the Overland Park complex varies in number, but Laplante said it falls anywhere between 18 and 22.

“We have a great relationship with a lot of the teams in St. Louis and the clubs there, and they come play here and the teams here in Kansas City go play there,” Laplante said. “I don’t know if it is necessarily a competition, I think it will give the consumer a lot more options to choose from.”

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