FARMINGTON -- What a kick.
Davis County could soon enter the soccer arena by building four competition soccer fields on 10 acres of Legacy Events Center property in west Farmington.
On Thursday, Legacy Events Center officials at the Davis County Tourism Tax Advisory Board meeting made the pitch to develop, at a cost of $302,000, four soccer/ lacrosse fields on the south end of the center property.
"We don't want to compete with the cities," Legacy Events Center Director Dave Hansen said.
But often city fields are being used, leaving no place to play for local and traveling competitive soccer teams, he said.
The tourism tax advisory board makes recommendations to the county commission on how county tourism tax dollars are to be allocated. The tourism tax, collected from restaurants, hotels and vehicle rentals, generates just more than $4 million annually.
Tourism tax revenues can be allocated for cultural and recreation projects that draw visitors to the area.
But all the money needed to develop the soccer fields, to be laid out side by side and back to back, will not all have to come from tourism tax funds, says one elected official.
Where the soccer field property will likely double as a flood detention basin, flood control funds could be put toward the cost of putting the fields in place, leaving a "minimal amount" needed to come from the tourism tax, County Clerk/Auditor Steve Rawlings said.
The board will address the proposal as an action item at its Feb. 24 meeting.
Hansen said it would be his hope that the county would make a return on the investment through the dollars soccer participants and spectators spend in the local community while attending the games and summer tournaments.
The intent of the county is to obtain funding in time to seed the fields this spring, and have the fields ready for regular soccer play within the next year or two, depending on the time the grass on the fields needs to take root, Hansen said.
Kaysville City Parks and Recreation, Utah Youth Soccer Association and the Davis Area Convention and Visitor's Bureau, which had representatives in attendance at the tourism tax advisory board meeting, support the concept, based on the lack of playing fields for teen and adult competitive soccer leagues.
"We don't have anything on tap to build anything for a long, long time," Kaysville City Recreation Program Specialist Robyn Dickson said.
About 200 teens in the Kaysville area participate in competitive soccer leagues, Dickson said.
The biggest concern the Utah Youth Soccer Association faces is the lack of playing fields, said Dave Mills, chairman of UYSA District No. 4, which covers from Bountiful to North Ogden.
If the county were to develop fields at its west Farmington facility, it would attract participants, and revenues would be generated as a result of those groups eating at the local restaurants, Mills said.
"They will have to feed their families," he said.
The soccer fields will also allow competitive soccer tournaments, currently being held in Utah County, to be held in Davis County, officials said.
"It's about finding the best tournament," and soccer teams are willing to travel to attend the better events, Davis Area CVB Sales Manager John Wilson said.
Working in favor of the county, Wilson said, is that it already has in place the necessary entertainment venues in Lagoon, Cherry Hill and Boondocks to accommodate the people who participate and attend the soccer events.
"You can't get that in every county," he said.