Soccer goes indoors in Kitsap County

"If you build it, they will come.That's what speaker after speaker told the Bremerton City Council June 6 before they unanimously approved a private, $900,000 indoor-soccer facility to be built on public land on the city's west side.The ground was officially broken in a ceremony June 15.Developers Larry Smith, Dennis Michael and Steve Lawrence, all of Port Orchard, can now begin construction on the 25,000-square-foot facility at the city-owned Pendergast Park sports complex off Werner Road in Bremerton.The complex will contain one large indoor soccer surface and a smaller practice area, both with artificial-turf surfaces.The developers had begun working with the city on the idea of an indoor soccer facility when Cris Gears was director of Parks and Recreation. After Gears returned to work for Kitsap County Parks and Recreation, the project lost momentum.But City Councilman Wayne Olsen on Wednesday personally credited Bremerton Mayor Lynn Horton with resurrecting the soccer facility by working with developers.The facility, which could be open by this fall, means a portion of the 9,000 youth soccer players and countless adult players will no longer need to travel to Gig Harbor or Tacoma to play an indoor soccer facility during cold, rainy winter months.Council members poised to grant their approval to the project also noted that the project could help many related businesses in Bremerton such as gas stations, coffee kiosks and hotels and motels during soccer tournaments.We'd like to keep the money closer to home, said Steve Kaio-Maddox of South Kitsap. Kaio-Maddox is a soccer coach and player as well.The facility could be used for games, practices or regional tournaments.The concession agreement that council members approved Wednesday night says that Olympic Soccer & Sports Center LLC may operate the facility for 10 years at Pendergast with three additional 10-year renewal options.Every year, the city of Bremerton will have the right to reserve, for a fee, 182 hours of usage. "

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