It will be one year this week since Steve Stenger stepped to the podium to announce plans to create a a 13 field complex that would include the SLSG Creve Coeur complex. The St. Louis County Soccer Complex was to break ground in early summer 2016. As the picture above exhibits, what we have instead is overgrown fields that have gone unused.
The only sign of progress I have seen is the lack of any SLSG signage at the existing turf fields, pointing to an eventual turn over to the County. The fields are still part of the SLYSA Spring League but I’ll have to explore further to determine who is providing on-going maintenance and who is renting the fields to SLYSA.
From the original press release, included in my story Mike O’Mara’s Soccer Dreams Coming True
The complex, currently targeted to open in Fall 2017, will feature 13 lighted artificial turf fields, a championship field with permanent seating for up to 500, a main building with locker rooms, and a satellite facility with restrooms and concessions. The complex will also feature 2 smaller, youth-sized fields.
In the year since, the National Training Center in KC has made significant progress on their eight artificial fields and the Grandview Sports Complex Southeast of KC has broken ground. Here in St. Louis we have yet to see any significant progress.
From my original report following the County’s press conference, funding was supposed to be provided by the issuance of bonds that would then be paid for via the Hotel Tax. Steve Giegerich of the Post-Dispatch indicated the following:
The terms call for the county to issue bonds to cover the cost of construction through its Convention and Recreation Trust Fund. The county will then use revenue from a 3.5 percent tax imposed on guests at county hotels to cover the cost of the bonds.
It appears the County took that step in March, 2016 as can be seen in the attached image. It’s from Munideals.com following a Google search for “St. Louis county bonds soccer”. A second search result offers details on the bonds which have a settlement date of March 29, 2016 and identifies quarterly interest payments that means the County is paying interest already despite the lack of visible progress.
To follow up, I’ll be looking for the following information:
1. What is the status of the SLSG Lease?
2. What is the status of the design and construction plans
3. When will groundbreaking occur?
4. Has a General Manager been hired?