AREA OFFICIALS TO DEDICATE NEW SOCCER FIELDS

AREA OFFICIALS TO DEDICATE NEW SOCCER FIELDS

Top officials from Doña Ana County, the City of Las Cruces and the Las Cruces Public Schools will jointly preside over a Saturday morning dedication ceremony of the recently expanded High Noon Soccer Complex southwest of Mayfield High School.
The dedication ceremony, scheduled for 8 a.m., Sept. 29, 2001, will kick off the 2001 Whole Enchilada Soccer Tournament, which draws teams of varying age groups from all over the state and region. The brief ceremony will feature live music and guest speakers.
County Commission Chairman Gilbert T. Apodaca called the 12-field complex “a tribute to public-private partnerships and the abilities of governments to work together toward an ambitious common goal.”
Under the initiative, seven new full-sized soccer fields were built adjacent to Mayfield High School, along with 1,296 parking spaces. Total project costs exceeded $3.7 million, much of which was grant funding supplemented by cash and/or land donations from the county, the city and LCPS. Five fields already were in existence on the site. The initiative to build the new fields began in 1999 under a partnership between the High Noon Soccer League of Las Cruces, Las Cruces Public Schools, the City of Las Cruces, the United States Soccer Federation and Doña Ana County.
“To be a partner with the Doña Ana County Commission, the City of Las Cruces and the High Noon Soccer Association in providing facilities for the young people of Las Cruces and Doña Ana County is a means of satisfaction for the Las Cruces School Board,” said Mary Tucker, LCPS Board of Education president. “The Las Cruces School Board provided the land for the soccer fields within the Sports Complex and the lighting for these fields came from our last [school] bond. Each of the partners in this endeavor have contributed significantly to this major asset to our community.”
Tucker said soccer is a sport for all ages and both sexes, and meeting the recreational needs of the community is a valid responsibility of each of the partners.
Soccer is a growing sport in Doña Ana County. According to a fact sheet supplied by the High Noon Soccer League, there are more than 3,000 youths and 400 adults registered to play soccer in the Las Cruces area. In addition, there about 100 referees and 500 coaches. Together, this population represents almost 15 percent of the county’s population.
But participation is only part of the popularity. The League estimates that soccer draws more than 110,000 spectators in Las Cruces each year, and that this figure grows by about 6 percent a year. Further the League estimates that more than $1 million is generated each year from tourism associated with the league play.
For more information, call county Public Information Director Jess Williams at (505) 647-7229. Residents calling from outside the Las Cruces area may call toll-free at 1-877-827-7200 and request extension 7229.