The city has its modern streetcar, while Pima County has soccer. The main difference: the county's ambitious new projects are actually getting put to use.
Tomorrow marks the latest milestone in turning the region into a soccer mecca, as a groundbreaking ceremony is set for 6 p.m. at Brandi Fenton Park for a clubhouse that will be used by members of the Tucson Soccer Academy.
The Ann K. Schmidt Kickin' It Clubhouse (named for the late wife of TSA president Ted Schmidt) occupies an existing building at the park that is set to undergo a $150,000 renovation with funds raised by the soccer club. The facility will also include a meeting room that is available for public use.
The clubhouse project is the latest in a series of moves involving Pima County to improve soccer facilities and infrastructure in the area. The Board of Supervisors has greenlit conversion of all of the baseball fields on the north half of the Kino Sports Complex into soccer fields, as well as a 2,200-seat stadium that semipro club FC Tucson will use next season.
The board also voted this week to spend $280,000 to further its effort to make Tucson the western hub of Major League Soccer preseason training, and last month the county teamed with the Southern Arizona Soccer Association to convert a baseball field at Arthur Pack Regional Park into two soccer fields.