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Imagine the possibilities that a sports complex in Lodi would open

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Posted: Thursday, March 28, 2013 12:00 am

I would like to begin a discussion of a sports complex in Lodi. Communities such as Morgan Hill have built soccer complexes, boosting business for local restaurants and hotels.

Our sports culture today in the U.S. is built around traveling competitive sports teams.

We are entering a period in the U.S. of tremendous economic growth, and The Economist magazine predicts that the U.S. is back in 2014 and will leave the rest of the world behind by 2020. If this is even remotely true, I think that it is time to start the discussion and preliminary planning of sports complexes in Lodi — which would benefit local businesses.

In a perfect world, we would save and build such a project with our surplus. But voters always want a tax rebate when there is a surplus. Other communities have accomplished a sports complex through municipal bonds. Another possibility is local industry sponsoring such a project. A joint effort between industry and the city of Lodi is ideal.

Instead of pushing out and knocking down more of our pristine farmland, I recommend smart growth within our city. An example: If the city of Lodi could manage to obtain the land on Stockton and Sacramento streets between Turner Road and Pine Street, we could build rows of fields using the Grape Bowl as the anchor for premier games. We could have an Olympic-sized pool and diving center built next to the parking structure, and possibly have a bicycle velodrome in the plan.

I have spent too many hours between games sitting in a lawn chair waiting for the next game with nothing to do but read the Economist. Imagine the possibilities in Lodi with our great blend of Downtown businesses.

I believe that Jeff Hood, with Parks and Recreation, has seen enough of the U.S. in his travels to have a vision for this project. Maybe he already has begun the discussion.

Greg Wright

Economics teacher

Lodi High School

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  • Patrick W Maple posted at 6:02 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Pat Maple Posts: 1805

    While a GHS Board member I proposed the same complex idea in Galt 15 years ago to alleviate several problems at the high school and to bring in some money to the schools and city. The property 50 acres was available, close by and cheap ($580K). The entire cost was less than $3 million. I had plans drawn, cost analysis made and public interest, what I got was ridiculed and chastised. The project was poopooed as "Mapleland" by the other board sitters...that is all they did..other than attack anyone who wanted something more than an ag program. Eventually we/they spent $80 million on a new high school with NO football or soccer stadium, no swim facilities, a small gym, tennis courts that face the wrong way and a host of other problems that have shown up since. I for one, support your idea and hope you succeed.

  • Jackson Scott posted at 11:02 pm on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Jackson Scott Posts: 392

    Yes, it is an idea that is LONG overdue. It was discussed probably 10 years ago with the White Slough land on the east side of I-5 as the site. The CoL owns the land and discharges "clean" water from the waste water plant there, and they lease it out to farmers for corn & alfalfa crops (I believe).

    DeBennedetti Park was never, ever, intended to be a major complex like what you and Mr. Wright are wishing for.

  • Treacy Elliott posted at 1:37 pm on Thu, Mar 28, 2013.

    Treacy Elliott Posts: 77

    Not only is it a great idea, but long overdue. DeBenedetti park is supposed to be the answer, but regional complexes like Golden Eagle Regional park in Sparks, NV, provide softball, baseball, soccer and football fields, state of the art fields. National level adult and youth tournaments could be hosted at these facilities strengthening our already tourist friendly downtown and wine industries. I host a Nor Cal Senior Softball Association tournament twice a year. Our antiquated softball complex and lack of additional fields limit participation to a total of 42 teams each year. Given a 3 additional fields that number would easily double


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