Assessing city facilities; lack of soccer fields, competing demands?

ST GEORGE – Soccer is on the mind with the FIFA World Cup final Sunday featuring Germany and Argentina going head to head. Whether competition is taking place on the biggest stage in the world, or in a small soccer complex in St. George, the facilities provided help drive the sport.

According to the City of St. George Website, the area currently has two soccer locations run by the city, Bluff Street Park and The Fields at Little Valley, mainly being a softball complex.

There is a big shortage of fields in the area and it is a concern, Danny Ortiz, executive director for Southern Utah Youth Soccer, said.

When you’re talking youth soccer you’re talking families,” Ortiz said. “So when you have soccer fields for them it’s a complex where a family can come if they have several of their children playing, they’re all in one location for the most part.”

To accommodate both youth and adult soccer competition, a minimum of five fields, with a best scenario of eight, would be ideal for playing conditions, Ortiz said.

The Presidents Cup tournament – played over three different weekends – used to feature games in St. George and Mesquite, Ortiz said. Due to the lack of facilities, the tournament is now played exclusively in Mesquite even though it is put on through Utah Youth Soccer.

There’s nothing within the city limits that I know of where they can hold an event like that,” Ortiz said.

Although Southern Utah Youth Soccer does put on tournaments, they rely heavily on school fields rented from the school district.

Different organizations and entities have attempted to put in fields, but none have come through, Ortiz said. The reason for the fault in execution in regards to working with the city seems to be unknown.

“It’s always been a mystery to us, especially when you look at the base of children playing soccer from St. George, we have over 3,500 people in our organization,” Ortiz said, “but yet the tax dollars don’t reflect evenly toward that amount of players as they do to other sports.”

The city in conjunction with the school district is currently conducting an assessment that inventories the use and need of facilities in Washington County and St. George.

St. George Recreation Manager Steve Bingham is part of the assessment team, seeing that the assessments are done on the city as a whole.

We haven’t come to a conclusion of how many soccer fields are needed but there is increasing demand for multi-use grass fields,” Bingham said, “whether it’s rugby, ultimate, soccer or lacrosse, there’s a broad range of things that’s vying for a limited resource.”

The assessment looks at available spaces, how frequent facilities are used and looking at requests they are getting in regards to the use of the space. In regards to adding new spaces, public comment is considered.

“It’s absolutely driven by the public and their expression of needs,” Bingham said.

Although the issue at hand may not be seen as solved, steps are being taken to understand what needs to be done.

“It’s an issue that’s got to be addressed by the city at some point,” Ortiz said, “we’re doing some things within our organization to where we’re working with some private entities as well to solve it.”

To understand future plans and development, the St. George Park Planning Division was contacted, but no response was returned.

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8 Comments

  • tc rider July 12, 2014 at 9:44 am

    lets get serious, does anyone have an inkling of an idea of how much water this is going to require????????????????????????????????????????????

    If the final results turn out anything like the soccer fields up north, they cost the taxpayers a lot of money in the long run and they will sit idle for amajority amount of the time.

    My solution: use exsisting football field at Saint George and if there needs to be events it will be cheaper to bus players north.

    I cannot believe with the record water shortage this year, that this is even being considered.

  • Mark July 12, 2014 at 10:16 am

    What about the Sullivan soccer fields in Washington? the park has been finished for awhile, yet they stopped there.

  • tcrider July 12, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    Yet Another solution:

    How about if we change a couple of the golf courses in town into soccer fields, we can start with green springs and I’m sure the good folks of Bloomington hills wouldn’t mind if we changed these golf courses into multi purpose soccer field golf courses, it would be a eco responsible way for the future.

  • Mark July 12, 2014 at 1:14 pm

    Speaking of wasted water, I walk a few mornings a week and as I do, you wouldn’t believe how much water is wasted from over watering, the city should have somebody driving around , maybe one of the five city workers at a work site that aren’t doing crap, have one or two of them go around warning people of the wasted water, after a 2nd warning start fining the homeowner/renter, alot of businesses are also wasting water . On a unrelated topic, stupid dog owners pick up after your damn dogs ESPECIALLY at the schools and parks, that is disgusting and selfish, don’t care if it’s a small dog.

  • M and M cookies July 12, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    We do need soccer fields.. 10 yrs ago or so someone donated money for land just for soccer fields, and the city made softball fields for senior games, I thought when someone donated money for a specific need you can,t use it for something else, maybe that’s why people don,t donate now… World FIFA shows how grea a sport it is, we should start at the lower grades to teach soccer, and then when the kids are in high school they can get sc holarsnips for college thru soccer programs, it’s not an expensive sport , and you can use artificial grass to save water..

  • zacii July 12, 2014 at 6:08 pm

    You gotta be kidding? A lack of soccer fields?

    What about a lack of water?

    What about a lack of adequate roads?

    What about a lack of teachers?

    Public funds should not be wasted on frivolous things like soccer fields.

  • Bethenie July 13, 2014 at 12:38 am

    Soccer is always on many peoples minds. But STG doesn’t offer many places and then some people get mad because we have to go to elementary schools just to play or even high schools. Well there needs to be more places than i high schools and elementary schools. I mean really it’ STG what else can they take from us.

  • LilMama July 13, 2014 at 11:07 am

    What about an indoor facility, that could be used year-round, with synthetic grass. Sure the cost to build would be a little higher, but it could be a multi-use sports facility too. Indoor football, soccer, track and field, etc. I would love to see more indoor places that my kids can use to stay active! Warmer in the winter, cooler in the summer.

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