Soccer club buys own land for fields

June 19, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

by RICHARD T. MEAGHER / staff photographer


Soccer fields

A nonprofit Hagerstown soccer club, deciding not to wait for local governments to take action, has bought 21 acres for six soccer fields.

Two of the fields in the 13300 block of Cearfoss Pike northwest of Hagerstown will be ready for play this fall and the remaining four fields will be ready for tournament play in the spring, said Hagerstown Soccer Club officials.

The club bought the land for about $120,000 last October from asparagus farmer Lester Albin, said Rudy Krumpe, club president.

The club will pay the farmer over 15 years with proceeds from tournaments, fund-raisers and fees they will charge local businesses to post signs along the field, said Robert Adair Jr., publicity chairman.


Krumpe and Adair said club officials got tired of waiting for the City of Hagerstown and Washington County to develop soccer fields.

"There's a lot of talking, but nothing ever happens. And I'm not blaming anybody, but we just decided to do it," Krumpe said.

"There's still more fields needed. People find it hard to believe, but it's true," he said.

The club's more than 200 members will practice and hold tournaments on the land, but 1,200 to 1,800 members of other local soccer clubs need places to play, Krumpe said.

Club officials hope the city will build soccer fields at the Hagerstown Fairgrounds. City Council members are expected to see a new design proposal for the 68-acre fairgrounds in July.

Club members range in age from 9 to 18, and there are separate teams for boys and girls, Adair said.

Adair said Washington County almost lost the soccer fields to Greencastle, Pa., where club members also were looking at land.

The economic impact of the soccer fields will be significant and the fields will help build an already respectable reputation for regional soccer tournaments here, club officials said.

Adair estimates one tournament with 1,800 kids will pump about $750,000 into the community.

Tournament play can result in packed hotels, restaurants with waiting lines, full movie theaters and busy arcades, Krumpe and Adair said.

The land the group chose about a mile northwest of the Interstate 81 and Md. 58 interchange includes a barn and two sheds, where concessions eventually will be sold.

It would cost about $5,000 to shore up the barn, Krumpe said. Club officials haven't decided whether to fix it up or sell the wood, he said.

Heading out of Hagerstown, the land is on the right of Cearfoss Pike and behind the Maugans Meadows development.

The fields will be used for practice, scrimmage games and tournaments in the spring and fall and could be used in the summer for practices and soccer camps, Krumpe said.

Other clubs also could use the land, he said.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to help pay for the land may send a check to the Hagerstown Soccer Club, P.O. Box 384, Maugansville, Md., 21767.

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