After two years of negotiations, the City Council voted Tuesday, March 1, to work together with several youth sports leagues to build a sports complex on old Holly Sugar land west of Tracy Boulevard.
Rod Buchanan, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, called it “a huge milestone.”
It’s taken more than two years to get the youth sports teams on board with the plan, but Buchanan, as well as the City Council, praised their membership for sticking with the process.
“I think this is long past due,” said Councilman Robert Rickman. “I have kids, and I understand we need fields.”
According to a staff report to the City Council, four leagues — Tracy Little League, Tracy Babe Ruth, Tracy Youth Soccer League and Tracy Futbol Club — agreed to a memorandum of understanding with the city that would have the city put in infrastructure in exchange for the leagues building, maintaining and getting the rights to use those fields.
Buchanan said it’s a unique, if not groundbreaking, partnership that maximizes what the city can build.
Tracy Express Softball, the Associacion de Clubs Unidos Soccer League, Soccer Xtar Liga and the Afghan Soccer Club are expected to sign similar a memorandum in April or May, while the Tracy Raiders, Tracy Cougars, Tracy Buccaneers and Alternativo Futbol plan to wait for a future phase of development before signing on.
The first phase of building would result in 12 baseball diamonds and eight soccer fields, while future phases would include softball and football facilities.
The first construction phase — at least the infrastructure work that must be done through a contractor — will cost an estimated $8.09 million.
And though the city only has $7.61 million set aside for the sports complex project, engineer Kul Sharma said a favorable climate for construction costs should help the city come in under budget.
“I feel very confident,” he said.