A 142 acre, wind-blown dirt field in North Salt Lake is back in the spotlight Thursday with the re-launch of Salt Lake City’s 22 point 8 million dollar soccer complex. Soccer moms, players, city officials, soccer fans, promoters and managers plus one team owner gathered to witness an event that’s been 10 years in the making. A Utah Supreme Court ruling a year and a half ago knocked down the last barrier to construction. City Councilman Carlton Christensen from District 1 was there from the beginning.
“We’ve met the courts of justice, it’s now time for us to get to the courts of play and the youth…have an opportunity to participate and to be involved and to excel at what they do best. And this is the right place and we’re done it in the right way,” he said.
Christensen says you know it’s been a challenge when you have a list of lawyers to thank along with many others.
Dell Loy Hansen, the owner of Real Salt Lake is giving 7 and a half million dollars toward the cost of construction. He called the complex a field of dreams. Soccer mom Margie Arellano of West Valley City agreed.
“Because I think it gives the kids just an amazing opportunity to strive for something in the future and as a parent [it’s] nice to see your child grow into that,” says Arellano.
Voters approved the $15.3 million dollar bond in 2003. Ground was originally broken in 2010. Opponents of the complex say it threatens adjacent wetlands. Completion of the 16 fields, including a full stadium field, is planned for the summer of 2015.