Private academy offering to help develop Eudora soccer complex

photo by: Shutterstock

The Eudora City Commission and Eudora school board have agreed to revise a 3-year-old memorandum of understanding to allow talks with a private third-party about developing a soccer complex in the community.

Eudora City Manager Barack Matite said the original 2018 memo between the city and school district allowed the city to build a soccer complex on unused district property between Eudora’s middle and high schools. The revised agreement, which the school board approved Feb. 11, allows the city and district to start talks with BVB International Academy Great Plains about joining the effort to develop the soccer complex.

Matite and Eudora Mayor Tim Reazin stressed that currently no agreements were in place with BVB concerning the complex. However, BVB has made proposals that would have the academy help construct the complex, pay for its maintenance and manage its scheduling and activities.

Matite said the city has been saving money to develop the soccer complex in a phased-in approach. It has cash on hand to do Phase 1 this year, which would grade the site and seed it with grass at an estimated cost of $354,000.

In a Feb. 15 PowerPoint presentation to the City Commission, BVB officials explained that BVB Academy was the official U.S. representative of an academy associated with the German professional soccer club Borussia Dortmund. BVB Great Plains of Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska is one of five regional academies offering youth soccer camps and training opportunities.

Reazin said BVB has offered to help with the soccer complex’s construction, stating the academy could get the project finished much sooner than the city could. Reazin said, however, that he had questions about how BVB taking the lead in the complex’s construction would work with the city’s obligation to put the project up for bid and to award it to the low bidder.

Reazin said it was envisioned from the start that the soccer complex, which would depend on district parking lots, would not interfere with district operations. The district’s interests would be protected in any agreement, he said.

The complex’s site plan would also be a subject of the talks, Reazin said. BVB wants two large competition fields rather than the one competition field and several smaller fields the city planned, he said. The academy also wanted one synthetic turf field, which the city plan doesn’t include.

Also to be discussed is BVB’s offer to schedule and manage the site, Reazin said. BVB Great Plains has indicated it would make Eudora its headquarters if an arrangement is reached.

“It’s exciting,” Reazin said. “It fits with our plan to develop sports tourism as is happening elsewhere in the K-10 corridor.”

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