|The Cherry Island Soccer Complex, which is run by volunteers, is hosting a national teenage soccer tournament this weekend in Elverta.|
Much of the recent talk in Elk Grove about the development of a sports complex has focused on two main points - Elk Grove could host major athletic tournaments if we had a sports complex and if we did host these events, they would bring in much needed dollars.
It is interesting to note that a national soccer tournament for boys and girls in the 14 through 17 ages group is being hosted this weekend at the Cherry Island Soccer Complex in nearby Elverta. Undoubtedly this national tournament will bring in a boatload of dollars to hotels in the north Sacramento and south Placer areas.
As Elk Grove moves forward in it quest for a sports complex, there are some things that should be considered by our planners.
* According to information we could find, the 10 fields at Cherry Island are run by volunteers, not a professional management company.
* With no disrespect to Elverta, but the location of the fields is not exactly near prime dining or lodging, yet this site was still selected.
* If Elk Grove does build fields of some sort, is it possible volunteers could run the facility. After all, what we are really after is not the fields per se, rather the tournaments and the dollars they could draw. Could this scenario work in Elk Grove?
* Instead of flying off to Texas, maybe the city could talk to the Cherry Island people and draw on their experiences. In fact one of the main organizers listed on an information sheet for Cherry Island is an Elk Grove resident. A visit with this person will certainly be a lot cheaper for taxpayers and possibly more enlightening.
* On a side note, a Google News search identifies the tournament on several sites from around the country, but as of posting time, not one local news sources had anything about this tournament.
Obviously comparing the Cherry Island facility to our local facilities is not an apple-to-apple comparison, but there is a point that should not be lost. A group of volunteers running a large 10 field facility is hosting a major national sports tournament in an area with a dearth of nearby dining and lodging facilities, yet somehow they managed to capture this major money-generating event.
Perhaps Elk Grove officials should take note.