One of Nelson’s most popular and successful sporting pastimes is kicking into an even higher gear.
The purchase, which will be aided by a $350,000 City loan to NYSA, will be a major benefit to City of Nelson taxpayers and the 1,200 people who enjoy the sport year round.
“This opportunity will create new revenue streams for the City, and for Nelson Youth Soccer,” says Mayor John Dooley, “it will also put the indoor soccer facility back in the hands of the community’s ownership.”
Nelson Youth Soccer Association president Chuck Bennett says the NYSA is thrilled with the purchase, and adds that Soccer Quest and its founder Dave Spendlove are owed tremendous thanks for everything the organization has done to develop soccer locally over the past seven years.
“Dave took soccer in this community to another level and I don’t think we can underestimate or under appreciate his contributions,” says Bennett.
Spendlove, who is moving Soccer Quest on to other communities, starting with Kamloops, says its been a great seven years.
“I’ve had fantastic times, made some great friends and it’s been great to see soccer grow so much since we arrived. There are more certified coaches, more leagues and teams and far more players — 22 of whom have gone on to scholarships.”
Bennett is also quick to note that the indoor soccer facility purchase could not have happened without the City of Nelson’s help.
“The city has really played an important role in allowing this deal to move forward,” he says.
NYSA will enter into a partnership and 10-year lease agreement with the city to run the facility as of September 1st. Nelson Youth Soccer will have until the end of 2020 to re-pay the loan, which is being offered at the City’s short-term interest rate plus one percent. The agreement also includes rental payments and profit sharing.
“This facility is critical to the city’s soccer community,” says Bennett, “now that its stewardship is the responsibility of Nelson Youth Soccer, we’ve got a great opportunity to offer winter programming to everyone in the community, players of all ages and abilities.”
Registration details for the upcoming fall season will out shortly for both youth, rep and adult soccer leagues.