Sandhill Crane Soccer complex

Shown is a preliminary rendering of a possible layout for the Sandhill Crane Soccer complex.

GALVESTON

If you build it, will they come?

Keri Heath: 409-683-5241; keri.heath@galvnews.com or on Twitter @HeathKeri.

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(12) comments

Andrea Catanzaro

Perhaps the city can fix the existing tennis courts as well. They are embarrassing and the surfaces are dangerous.

George Rockers

Sure, fix things up nicely, but beware of dumping huge sums of money into a crap shoot. We already have plenty of tourist attractions to draw and keep people coming. League City is still on the hook for vast sums which they will be paying off with no recompense far into the future. Don't let idle dreams of soaking more credulous sports fans to fatten up the bottom line prove as disastrous for our taxpayers as it was for those in League City.

Brad Brown

I don’t see anything in the proposed design that is extravagant or specific for hosting tournaments. As far as I can tell, this design meets the standard that most of our neighboring communities have already invested in soccer complexes for their residents. There are a lot of kids in Galveston who play club soccer and the existing complex needs major improvements.

Don Schlessinger

Why not use that $5.5 mil to help Islanders who have struggled with financial trouble because of Covid and/or the deep freeze we just encountered. I agree with Mr. Rocker, Galveston has enough tourist "traps" that bring money to the island. After all that's happened over the last year why not do something just for the people who live here?.

Angelica Rendon

Oh my goodness!!! A man after my own heart. I grew up in Galveston and would have loved to remain there as an adult but the price of buying a home was far too expensive for me when I became a big-girl homeowner. I purchased my home in Dickinson and have found a community that actually cares about its people, especially the youth. It’s so frustrating to see that Galveston’s high school stadium has remained basically the same for decades, meanwhile the Seawall and the Strand are consistently in a revolving door of street improvements, most of which are unnecessary.

Ron Shelby

Build a golf course, they will come (golf is up but only because of the pandemic and social distancing). Build a League City Sports Complex and they will come a no be profitable (Now way behind in its payments to the city). Build convention centers and more hotels and they will come (heard all over the country for the last twenty years as there’s more capacity than demand). Bottom line: be cautious about what’s being promised in regards to recovering the investment. If it’s such a great move, get a Public-private partnership investment. If it has such a great outlook, find a way to have private investment in the game. Otherwise it’s just a developer trying to drum up business that they’ll leave in your lap later as they walk away with their fees. Just be cautious. It will be a while before this economy recovers to pre 2020 levels.

Don Schlessinger

[thumbup]

Tony Prets

Great idea Ron. We have a person willing to invest a few million dollars in a facility. Not as a typical investment, but an investment in Galveston and its' kids. You are right, sports tourism when done for greed can lead to problems like BLD. When its done for the love of the city and the kids, its less likely to end up that way. There is property at the airport that has been vacant for over a decade generating zero tax dollars. We want to lease the land at a reasonable cost, create a PPP and add 4 fields to the current 3 we have at Lassie League. We already have commitments to lease the facility once completed for 36 weeks out of the year. The facility will be in constant demand and successful. Many people have never been to a softball or baseball tournament and had the pleasure and privilege of watching hundreds of kids playing ball and having the times of their lives. This facility would draw larger tournaments meaning teams would come from all over the State and even across the country and Galveston would get positive exposure. These families rent hotel rooms, eat at restaurants and attend local attractions. That's important to the people who have invested in the island and the people who work at these places. A single larger tournament can generate over a million dollars in local revenue. The facility being proposed would be self sustaining 501c3 where all profits went to improving the facility and to scholarships. And local kids would benefit from having better facilities and more opportunities to play in tournaments exposing them to better competition. That will build our programs from the ground up and our kids will compete and bring pride to our city and its' citizens. At least those who don't already hate the city and don't care about its' kids. FYI: This week Lassie League girls had to play their games at the new 5 million dollar boys facility at Crockett Park. 2/3 of the lights are burned out at Lassie League and the city didn't budget money for any major maintenance or improvements at our girls facility even though in 2019, pre-pandemic, our facility hosted 19 softball tournaments while all the other facilities combined in Galveston hosted 3 or 4. That's with our little crumbling 3 field facility. I've been administering local leagues (boys and girls) and coaching now for about 30 years and I have learned much along the way. IMO Giving kids the opportunity to play a game that provides them the opportunity to directly interact socially and get some actual exercise while also teaching them values such as respect, patience, determination and team work and also providing the adult support and encouragement all kids crave seems a little more gratifying and purposeful to me than playing a round of golf. But that's just me.

Bailey Jones

We have families come to our bnb every year for girls softball and cheer leading or dance competitions. This is the type of small but steady tourism that Galveston needs to complement the few huge events we have to rely on each year.

Rickey Scott

As I ponder this topic I don’t think real numbers are available for an evaluation. The Galveston Lassie League complex has had two opportunities to host national softball events within the last four years. Year one the use of the complex fields along with the east end Lindale park and one of the west end minor league fields yielded over 60 teams in town for and entire week from surrounding states. I will note, the Crockett complex was not ready for operations that year thus limiting the number of teams. The second event yielded over 50 teams and also for an entire week and will represent one of the two tournament opportunities for the Crockett complex. I was recently in Lafayette La. this past weekend and they had an 8 field event that yielded 45 teams and the event organizers want to come to Galveston. This should be a no brainer.

Don Schlessinger

Lafayette La. is more than twice the size of Galveston. Lafayette is also not a major tourist trap. Lafayette is a great place, but not anything like Galveston.

Rickey Scott

Not commenting on the size of that town but they do not present the factor for bringing in tourism that Galveston possesses. The typical small minded vision will always cripple Galveston. Girls softball offers a great opportunity with the proper mechanism of space and amenities.

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