Construction on Enid’s new, seven-field soccer complex is now in the final stretch before crossing the goal line.
A $3.5 million capital campaign has begun to fundraise to complete construction on Enid’s Advance Soccer Complex, fundraising coordinator Nicole Winfield said. So far, the campaign has raised just more than $1 million of its goal.
The project, budgeted at a total $9.5 million, is one of the city’s biggest private-public partnerships, Winfield said. The city of Enid has covered $3 million of the construction expenses, and two family foundations each donated $1.5 million more.
With the backing of the Allen Family Foundation and the McLaughlin Family Foundation, construction at Rupe and Garland began in 2017.
All work on the complex from these funds is complete, Winfield said. Workers are beginning to lay concrete for the complex’s entrance, she said, and six of the seven fields are completed. Those six fields are sod, while the last will be artificial turf and is yet to be constructed.
But because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Winfield said springtime marketing and fundraising events had to be canceled — leaving the project stalled with $3.5 million in funding to go.
These funds will cover construction of the complex’s facilities, such as its clubhouse, shading structures, a water feature, playground, three practice fields and the turf field’s press box and electronic scoreboard.
To be named after the Atwood family from its donation, the clubhouse, measuring between 20,000 and 24,000 square feet, will include a weight room, four locker rooms, bathrooms, a separate referee locker room, a VIP room, board rooms/offices and multi-purpose training areas.
Naming opportunities also exist for donations to the complex’s other facility and amenities projects.
Winfield said the complex’s fundraising committee always intended to include this at-large capital campaign as part of the project, in order to engage the rest of the community who will actually — hopefully — be using the complex.
“We don’t just want the $500,000 donations, we want the $50 donations and the $100 donations and the $1,000 dollar donations,” Winfield said. “We want everyone to back this and be proud of it.”
The current Enid Soccer Complex, at 1520 W. Poplar, has 15 playing fields for teams of all ages and is the home for Enid’s competitive soccer teams, Enid Elite.
Around 700 play for the Enid Soccer Club, and 300 play for the YMCA. Nearly 800 youths play soccer in Enid, according to 2019 figures.
The David Allen Memorial Ballpark — the Allen Family Foundation’s other major sports complex contribution in Enid — hosts the NJCAA Division II World Series and baseball games for Enid High School and Northern Oklahoma College.
The ballpark also brings the city about $6 million in local economic impact a year, Winfield said. She estimated Advance Soccer Complex could bring in at least double that amount.
“We’ve had many landmarks and venues already scale up the level of pride and enthusiasm in Enid. We are ready to add one more to that list, one that can be utilized and enjoyed by everyone in many ways,” she later said in an email.
Should the project meet its $9.5 million goal, Winfield estimated 2022 for completion.
Those interested in donating can visit the complex’s website at www.advancesoccercomplex.com or contact Winfield at (580) 354-7015.
Article by: Alex Ewald – Enid News & Eagle 12.4.20
Photo by: Billy Hefton – Enid News & Eagle