Sorry Soccer Moms - City of Elk Grove Didn't Include Soccer Stadium, Fields in 5 Year Capital Improvement Plan



May 19, 2017 |  

If soccer fans or soccer moms in Elk Grove had any illusion that the grand facilities promised by former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis and current Mayor Steve Ly to a legion of supporters were going to be built, they would be well advised to readjust their expectations.

According to a document released today as part of the City of Elk Grove's 2018 proposed annual budget and five-year capital improvement plan (see image below), there is no money set aside for the proposed soccer facility anytime in the next five years. The plan, which will be reviewed by the Elk Grove City Council at their Wednesday, May 24 meeting shows no money, other than the $5.3 million already spent on the parcel for acquisition and environmental studies, allocated in the coming years. 

In its original incarnation, Davis hyped Elk Grove's chance, with the help of former California Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, of building a $100-million-plus profession-grade soccer stadium and fields that would attract an expansion franchise of the Major League Soccer as well as be a world class facility for youth soccer teams.  Along with making numerous promises to throngs of youth soccer players and their families who crowded city council meetings on several occasions, that yes, the soccer facility was coming, those plans never materialized.

Outside of the outrageous claim by Davis that Elk Grove could land one of four MLS expansion franchises being sought by 12 other larger American cities with billionaire sponsors, or steal the Miami franchise promised to soccer legend David Beckham, the plan was never realistic without financing. Unlike the civic center aquatics center which is being funded exclusively by Mello Roos fees paid by residents of Elk Grove's Laguna Ridge neighborhood, Davis never told the throng of devotees how the construction would be financed.

The scuttling of any expenditure for the next five years could also negatively affect efforts by the city and a consortium of local hotels, Visit Elk Grove, to develop the area into a tourist destination, another Davis scheme. A large part of that plan was reliant on the development of the soccer center to help attract large multi-team tournaments and the out of town visitors that accompany them.

Further complicating matters locally, had the soccer stadium proceeded as imagined by Davis and Ly, it would have provided the Howard Hughes Corporation the impetus, they reasoned, to resume construction of their unfinished shopping center currently known as the Outlet Collection at Elk Grove. Notwithstanding Davis' and Ly's failed soccer scheme and the possibility of the Wilton Rancheria building their $400-million casino resort sometime in the next five to seven years, the unfinished shopping center continues to languish. 

In a tacit acknowledgment that they do not have the financial resources to build the facility as envisioned by Davis and Ly, at the last Elk Grove City Council meeting a possible sale of the property to the Elk Grove Youth Soccer Club was discussed in closed session. Although there was nothing reported after that closed session, the capital improvement plan released today stated "the City continues to pursue partnerships to fully develop the site."

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1 comment

Steve Barnett said...

Privatizing this land is one of the best decisions the City has made - hopefully they will see it through to completion. The only value for an over-priced, under-used stadium at that site would be as a monument to the City administrators who allocated the funds for it's construction. If you look East of Davis, the Davis Legacy Soccer Club has built up a successful soccer complex that is used by local soccer players and serves as a location for soccer tournaments (thus bringing people to Elk Grove to fill our hotels). This can all be done without any grandiose stadium and the millions of dollars that would be wasted on such a structure.

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