by Tim Hennagir
Minnesota Youth Soccer Association members weren’t sold a second time on the idea of a $17 million state-of-the-art field complex in Monticello.
Organization members voted down the proposal at their general membership meeting on Nov. 2, said Candace Daley, executive director of the Minnetonka-based non-profit organization. “We got the vote tally back on the facility proposal, and it did not pass,” Daley said. “We had a lot of lively discussion and debate. Predominantly what we heard was that people really liked the concept of MYSA having a home and its own state-of-the-art facility, but the location was something they could not support. They really felt (Monticello) was too far out from the main Twin Cities area and wanted to see it more centrally located.”
MYSA is the governing body for youth soccer in the state of Minnesota. The organization serves more than 70,000 soccer players and 140 member clubs.
The organization’s general membership voted on the 24-field Monticello facility proposal during the annual meeting held at the Minneapolis Convention Center.
The St. Croix Soccer Club, which is one of the larger clubs in Minnesota, supported the proposal according to SCSC director of coaching Nathan Klonecki. The club voted no when it was first presented a year ago, but Klonecki said the availability of more financial information and details about the project led to its support this time around.
Each of the state’s clubs received one vote per 100 participants.
The proposed 125-acre MYSA field complex, dubbed “Minnesota’s Home Field,” would have been surrounded by the 1,200-acre Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park.
According to Monticello City Administrator Jeff O’Neill, the business community would have benefitted greatly from the MYSA developing a field headquarters just south of town. He also said a headquarters facility in Monticello was a great opportunity for MYSA and its membership to enjoy outdoors activities during downtimes between soccer games.
O’Neill suggested the center of gravity for youth soccer isn’t up the northwest side of the Twin Cities. It’s still to the south.
“That was indicated in the MYSA vote,” he said. “They’ll probably have to find a spot that’s closer to the south side (of the Twin Cities) in order to gain membership traction. We felt the Monticello location was great because it’s located in the center of the state.”
Stuart Groskreutz contributed to this story.
Contact Tim Hennagir at [email protected]