Elk Grove Residents Push for New Soccer Complex

ELK GROVE -- Two long-standing projects the City of Elk Grove has had in the works for several years now still aren't complete and have some residents grumbling about delay after delay.

Construction has been a welcome sign for many Elk Grove residents who have been pushing for an aquatics center, especially considering that not a single school within the city limits has a pool.

"I think so. It's been on the drawing boards for a little while," said Elk Grove Assistant City Manager Jason Behrmann.

The $31 million project was first approved by the city back in 2014. The delays started in 2015, when construction bids were higher than anticipated.

Finally, in 2017, the aquatics center, which will have an Olympic-sized pool, was approved and will be completed by July of this year.

"I think it's something that is much needed within our community," Behrmann told FOX40. "There is a very avid swim community here and are really looking forward to getting into the new swim center."

Soccer enthusiasts, however, may be feeling like they've been temporarily given the boot by the city.

A new soccer complex has been on Elk Grove's radar since as far back as 2010. The land deal for the site was approved. Now it sits undeveloped near Highway 99 and Grant Line Road.

"We believe we have the largest contingent of sports players in Elk Grove," said President of Elk Grove Youth Soccer Debra Carlton. "So our members are always asking, 'Why not soccer?'"

With upwards of more than 6,000 kids playing soccer in Elk Grove, it simply comes down to not enough fields to practice and play. So the proposed 16-field soccer complex would dramatically change how soccer is practiced and played throughout Elk Grove.

"During practice nights, we'll put four teams on one soccer field just to practice," Carlton said.

"I think the bigger issue is just financing," Behrmann said. "It's an expensive ordeal and so the city has a lot of things in the works right now. And so we just needed to prioritize where we are spending our money."

The city said they are still committed to building the soccer complex -- someday.

The land was Sacramento County owned up until recently, a big reason why the project has stalled, according to the city. But now that Elk Grove has purchased it that is one big hurdle out of the way.

"And so our effort now is to expand the city's boundaries in order to bring that land into the city," Behrmann said.

"This park was not just focused on soccer, it was football and lacrosse," Carlton said. "So when you add that to it, it takes up most of the kids in Elk Grove who will be using that park."

The aquatics center in Elk Grove is set to open in July and there is no timetable as to when the soccer complex will finally break ground.