(MURFREESBORO) On Thursday (4/4/2019) the Murfreesboro City Council gave a thumbs up on a 20-year Cooperative Use Agreement with the Tennessee State Soccer Association for Richard Siegel Soccer Complex.
The formal agreement comes after TSSA voted December 1, 2018, to accept the City of Murfreesboro as the site of its new facility based on a proposal to expand the Siegel Soccer Complex on Cherry Lane.
"We are excited to announce that the City of Murfreesboro and TSSA have decided that a cooperative use agreement is mutually beneficial," said Mayor Shane McFarland. "This approach will be a win-win for everyone--TSSA, the City, local soccer clubs, and sports tourism for years to come."
Under the long-term agreement, facilities at Richard Siegel Soccer Complex will be enhanced to serve as TSSA's headquarters for its statewide operation and regional tournament play. Highlights of the 20-year agreement include:
• Nine new synthetic turf fields located at the 16-field complex.
• Indoor soccer training facility.
• Increased seating at the Championship Field, along with drainage improvements.
• Office and classroom space.
• Improvement to the Jordan Farm Practice Fields with restrooms and lighting.
• Recruitment of regional and national tournaments and events to the City with the goal of 20,000 hotel event-associated room nights for such events.
• City control of the operations and scheduling of the facility.
• City retention of revenues associated with rental and usage of the facility.
• TSSA priority usage of the facility.
• Relocation of TSSA headquarters to the facility with lease agreement for office space.
"Sports tourism and visitors economically benefit the citizens of Murfreesboro through increased employment and entrepreneurial opportunities, and advanced infrastructure improvements," said City Manager Craig Tindall. "We are pleased with the long-term agreement and look forward to getting started on the enhancements this summer."
Enhancement of Richard Siegel Soccer Complex will be funded through debt financing in the FY2019-2020 CIP. The preliminary cost estimate is $14.5 million. Debt service for facility upgrades will be offset by the enhanced tourism revenue generated by TSSA's expanded use of the facility. Richard Siegel Soccer Complex and Community Park is a 130-acre complex which plays host to prestigious soccer events, including the Tennessee Soccer State Championships and the TSSAA State Soccer Championships. The complex currently has one lighted stadium field, eight lighted regulation fields and six lighted unit fields as well as pavilions and restroom facilities.
In September 2017, Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation announced the opening of the Richard Siegel Soccer Practice Fields at Jordan Farm located at 1223 Cherry Lane. With the addition of the new practice fields the complex has twenty-one practice fields.
"The practice fields were constructed due to a shortage of available space for youth soccer and to contribute to a rapidly growing sport in Middle Tennessee," said Murfreesboro Parks & Recreation Director Nate Williams. "Adding lighting to Jordan Farm practice fields will increase the capacity for play after dark."
The growing sport of soccer in Murfreesboro not only brings wellness opportunities to our park system but also contributes to tourism with a significant economic benefit to restaurants and hotels in the community. And a future Cherry Lane extension will give Siegel Soccer Complex access to a new I-840 interchange providing additional access and economic development opportunities in this area.
"We anticipate entering the Right-of-Way acquisition phase for Phase 2 of the Cherry Lane Extension in two to three months," said Public Works Executive Director and City Engineer Chris Griffith. "Phase 2 will extend westward from Richard Siegel Soccer Complex to Sulphur Springs Road."
Cherry Lane Extensive Phase 3 will extend west of Sulphur Springs Road to a new I-840 interchange and ultimately to NW Broad Street with the interchange opening by 2025.