California Soccer Park Enhancements

Area of Focus: Economic & Community Development, Youth Health and Education

Lead Club Name: Redding

Lead Rotarian: Malain, Kathy

Year: 2021-22

Project Budget: $27,500.00

DDF Grant Amount: $0

As part of a larger vision to enhance the California Soccer Park in Redding to help rejuvenate the local economy, Redding Rotary will assist the soccer park in purchasing and installing a Jumbotron (large, mounted, electronic television) in the quad area of the park for soccer award ceremonies and celebrations. The Jumbotron digital screen will be mounted to the building and used to announce game schedules and scores, and to show commercial ads that can be sold to raise additional revenue for the park. California Soccer Park, a non-profit organization, is a one-of-a-kind, State-of-the-Sport 22-acre soccer facility that boasts four all weather, synthetic-turf NCAA regulation sized, lighted fields. “California’s only all-weather soccer complex!” Chad New, the Executive Director of our non-profit California Soccer Park since April 2016, also has plans to add quad lighting, a trophy sculpture, a brilliant tournament entry way and a portable stage that will allow teams to hold soccer team ceremonies after tournaments in this special venue in the concrete quad area (see artist’s renderings, attached). Mr. New hopes to bring new revenue to the park from donors outside of our area to benefit our community and the Soccer Park. The awards ceremony stage will also be used for corporate, community, and other team events. The enhanced quad area is also large enough that it will provide a new venue that can be utilized by the five local Rotaries or rented by community agencies for evening gatherings when the soccer park is not being used. Since the California Soccer Park (originally named Redding Soccer Park, and renamed two years ago as part of this expanded vision) opened in 2007, it has welcomed over 1,500,000 visitors. In the greater Redding areas, the number of kids playing soccer has doubled since that time. Both Fall and Spring leagues have over 1,200 players. Competitive teams, school teams, adult leagues, lacrosse, ultimate frisbee, and flag football teams are consistent users. Tournaments and clinics are also regularly scheduled. The level of play for local players has improved dramatically with year-round playing opportunities. Gate fees, field rentals, sponsorships and concessions cover the operating expenses of over $400,000 for the utilities, staff, and supplies. The City does not fund any operational costs. The California Soccer Park has built a strong sense of community. Many families meet up and connect in the park—night after night and week after week. Kids learn important life skills around teamwork, leadership, perseverance, and physical fitness. A great many moms and dads have volunteered to coach children’s soccer over the fourteen years the park has existed, and almost everyone in Redding has cheered for family members and friends’ children on these park fields. By January of 2019, the original artificial turf fields had deteriorated so badly that the fields were mostly black rubber. Some money had been raised and there was money from a lawsuit against the company who built the fields, but $2.7M more was needed to prevent the Soccer Park from closing. March 6, 2019 – Community members’ petition signatures and personal stories were submitted to the Redding City Council by Bryan Erickson, president of the Shasta Regional Soccer Association/California Soccer Park. He spoke to the City Council members with the support of 300 community members who attended the meeting. They persuaded the majority of the City Council member to vote to fund the soccer fields. It is the goal of Mr. New, the Executive Director, and California Soccer Park, to preserve this sense of ownership in the California Soccer Park by local residents, while enhancing the current structures to draw tourists from outside the community to the area, and have them become part of the larger circle of interested participants in the park’s offerings.

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