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Examiner
  • Soccer complex seen as way to keep Missourians at home

  • Jackson County legislators on Monday approved changes to a tax-increment financing plan, helping clear the way for construction of a six-field soccer complex in Swope Park in Kansas City.

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  • Jackson County legislators on Monday approved changes to a tax-increment financing plan, helping clear the way for construction of a six-field soccer complex in Swope Park in Kansas City.
    At least one of those fields will have artificial turf, potentially putting the complex in the running for elite youth soccer tournaments that draw teams from around the country.
    “You could triple, quadruple, quintuple the number of fields on the Missouri side and not even touch the demand,” said County Executive Mike Sanders.
    Other than Legacy Park in Lee’s Summit, county officials said, those tournaments are usually drawn to the Kansas side of the metro area.
    “You go over there, and it’s mostly Missouri license plates,” said Legislator Fred Arbanas, D-Lee’s Summit.
    Under tax increment financing, the property taxes for a specific area are set aside for improvements to that area to spur development. The county is setting aside $327,000 plus $117,000 for 10 years for this project, which is just off 63rd Street, the site where the Chiefs – before Arrowhead Stadium was built – once had their practice facility.
    Sanders said it’s likely that the soccer complex would lead to other development in the area.
    Legislator Bob Spence pressed Sanders and others on the project.
    “What do we do when Independence wants one, Blue Springs wants one, Lee’s Summit wants one?” he said.
    Sanders said each would be judged on its merits but that projects like this one are needed.
    “It’s a great amenity. There’s great demand,” he said.
     
     
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