Funding needed for sports complex
Published 2:29 am Thursday, November 4, 2010
EDWARDSBURG — The sign is up and soccer teams are playing on the fields, but the Edwardsburg Sports Complex is far from finished.
The ambitious plan for the sports center is to build eight soccer/football fields and nine baseball/softball diamonds on the 102 acres of land that the complex owns.
Currently, there are two practice soccer fields that are hosting youth soccer league matches, including the Edwardsburg Youth Soccer Association tournament that took place this past weekend.
Ed Patzer, the president of the Edwardsburg Sports Complex Board, said he came up with the idea for the complex 15 years ago when his son was playing little league baseball and youth soccer.
“They played on school property, which had limitations,” he said. “We wanted a permanent home for the kids.”
The project is completely funded by community donations, which have come from individuals and businesses in Edwardsburg, Cassopolis, Niles, South Bend and Granger.
The land, located on U.S. Highway 12 just west of the Edwardsburg village limits, was purchased in 2007.
So far, two practice soccer fields have been constructed and were used for the Edwardsburg Youth Soccer Association Tournament last weekend.
Patzer hopes to begin the construction of the rest of the complex by fall of 2011, but that depends on whether the board can get the funding.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $3.7 million. Currently about $1.7 million has been raised.
Patzer and the board are putting no limits on the project with long-term goals of volleyball courts, basketball courts, a swimming pool and an indoor facility in the future.
He said the complex won’t be limited to just Edwardsburg youth sports leagues, either.
“We hope to attract travel teams and organizations,” he said. “We want to have the facilities to have substantial tournaments.”
Patzer’s wife Patty, who serves as the secretary for the board, said: “It should bring a lot more people into the community. It could potentially bring in revenue to restaurants and stores with people coming here to watch sports.”
For more information about the Edwardsburg Sports Complex, visit www.edwardsburgsportscomplex.com.