That may not seem like much, but the county’s Tourism Recreation Tax advisory board was told Thursday that they would make a big difference toward meeting demand.
Estimated to cost just over $300,000, Center Director Dave Hansen said “return on investment” would come mostly to hotels, restaurants and other entities in the county where soccer visitors would spend their money while in the area.
That could range from $66 to $175 a night, Davis Area Convention & Visitor Bureau (DACVB) figures indicate.
Some soccer tournaments are spread over several days, meaning team members and accompanying family members spend money over that time, such as in St. George, where large state tournaments involving up to 135 teams are held.
“Teams will be in the city for quite some time,” said Kaysville Recreation Director Kris Willey. For example, multi-day tournaments can stretch over three or four days.
She recalled coaching a team that would want to spend the night at a hotel in Salt Lake City, to bond and for the excitement of it – adding dollars to business and city coffers.
The fields could form part of an overall development of that south portion creating a meandering stream with park-like areas, including foot bridges and more.
“If we have high water, we don’t want to have a situation where people could get in trouble,” County Commissioner John Petroff said.
While no discussions have been held with Farmington, he called it a “natural fit when Farmington starts to develop their park,” a 12 1/2 acre site to the south.
“We’re also going to build a trail along there and try to have more of a park-like feel on the south side (of the Legacy Center),” Petroff said. “That’s so when people come in for dog shows, etc., or just want to go there, it will be like a park. We want it (center) to be more of an amenity for the area.”
He said the whole idea, including the soccer fields, should be “relatively inexpensive. We’re not going to build bleachers. They’ll (clubs) just rent the fields, have their own insurance.”
“That whole area filled with rain last year and we had to close down the fair (briefly) ” said Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings. “There have been plans for some time to take care of the flood problems there.
“A lot of that same work has to be done on the soccer field. There will be an opportunity with hauling in dirt, etc.,” he said.
No matter what is done, there is no intention of using property tax dollars, except as they could tie into the already under way and approved flood bond project.
The soccer project ties to recommendations from a 2005 study by Bullock Smith architectural firm which suggested more multi-use development at the center, Hansen said.
The Events Center Advisory Board has incorporated the fields into its 20 year master plan.
“We’re almost at capacity for large events,” he said, including continued growth of the August county fair – the largest single event held there.
“Kaysville City has said they sure wish we’d build some fields, because when their fields fill with their programs,” there’s nowhere for other teams to really go, Hansen said.
“We’re growing to where we’re hosting about 200 teams” in the city, Willey said of Kaysville, adding, “There is nothing on tap to build new fields for a long time.”
“The Mayor’s Cup has been going in Bountiful for 30 years,” said the DACVB’s John Wilson. “They get teams from a big area. It’s more of an event. They’ve asked for help with more fields.”
“It’s a good start,” County Economic Development Director Kent Sulser said of the proposal, adding, “It’s probably half what we need.”
County Commission Chair Louenda Downs said more precise figures will be prepared for the tax advisory board’s next meeting Feb. 24, tentatively at the Utah Botanical Center in Kaysville.