Salinas inching closer to building soccer complex

Salinas inching closer to building socce

SALINAS, Calif. - The Constitution Soccer Complex field might look empty on a Thursday morning, it’s not always that way.

"On the weekend, you probably have maybe between 2 to 3,000 people on the weekend. If you ever pass by here, you will see the field is pretty full," said Isaac Alcaraz, a coach with the Salinas Soccer League.  

Popularity for the sport, played year-round, is growing year after year.

"We started back in 2013 with four teams, now we are hitting 200 teams," said Jorge Rojas, president of the Monterey County Soccer League.

The soccer fever sweeping Salinas and Monterey County shows no sign of stopping.

"I do like to say every green space in every park in the city of Salinas has the potential to become a soccer field at any given moment," said Gary Petersen, Salinas director of Public Works.

The city looked into building fields back in 2010, but officials said the project stalled because of the recession.

Some league coaches are faced with the challenging task of finding practice spaces.

"It's very expensive. I think it came out to $6,000 for three months and maybe a total of 10 hours a week,"  Alcaraz said.

"Right now, all the fields are being over used, not only with soccer but also with football, pop corners, baseball," Rojas said.

With the economy on the upswing, the city is again working with Monterey County to pick up where they left off.

"I think that's way overdue. We should have had this maybe five years ago," Alcaraz said.    

With the new plan, Salinas will lease a 42-acre field next to the current soccer complex, paying the county $1 a year for rent.

The project consists of eight turf fields, an outdoor one with 2,000 seats, and a 35,000 square-foot indoor arena.

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