DOÑA ANA COUNTY ASSISTS PARTNERSHIP DEDICATED TO BUILDING SOCCER FIELDS

DOÑA ANA COUNTY ASSISTS PARTNERSHIP DEDICATED TO BUILDING SOCCER FIELDS

The Doña Ana County Board of Commissioners has approved $110,000 in services and cash to support the construction of six new soccer fields in Las Cruces. The County will perform earth-moving services valued at $70,000 and will contribute $40,000 cash to the initiative spearheaded by the High Noon Soccer League.

“We’re very pleased to be able to contribute to this fast-growing sport that is enjoyed by hundred of Doña Ana County residents, and we applaud the High Noon Soccer League for its foresight and professionalism in bringing this initiative to fruition with governmental and private partnerships. These fields will be an asset for our county’s residents for many years to come,” said County Manager Fernando Macias.

The High Noon Soccer League of Las Cruces, in partnership with the Las Cruces Public Schools, the City of Las Cruces and the United States Soccer Federation, originally asked the County to participate as a partner in the program in early July. The Board of County Commissioners formally joined the initiative with a unanimous vote at its July 13 meeting.

Under the initiative, six new full-sized soccer fields will be built adjacent to Mayfield High School, along with 1,296 parking spaces.

Total project costs are estimated at about $3.7 million, of which the County agreed to provide $110,000 in cash and in-kind services from the 1999-2000 budget cycle.

Participation by Doña Ana County also facilitated the release of matching funds from other sources that will allow the construction to go forward.

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 Las Cruces. 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 100,000 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.