City Of Tulsa Struggling To Book Tournaments For New Soccer Complex

Tuesday, February 12th 2013, 7:44 pm
By: Emory Bryan

The City of Tulsa's new premier soccer facility is ready to go, but it's likely to sit idle for much of the year.

Tulsa has been in talks with soccer clubs and contract marketing firms for months, but doesn't have a deal, leaving a $6 million asset just sitting there.

The Mohawk Soccer Complex is brand new and, by all accounts, is on par with any other soccer complex around Tulsa. The problem is the complex appears likely to sit unused, or at least underused, during this year's soccer season.

The city is in talks with a company to run it, but it's already too late to book soccer tournaments for 2013.

3/10/2011 Related Story: Ground Broken For Tulsa Soccer Complex

The city broke ground on the complex two years ago, promising the 17 fields on 320 acres. It was built with county and city tax money, and completed with the goal of being operational by now.

The plan was for it to be a regional draw for soccer tournaments.

"It's in an area around Tulsa that has not seen its share of development, and so we're fulfilling our commitment to look at all parts of Tulsa, because we are all one Tulsa," said Mayor Dewey Bartlett.

The only event scheduled, so far, at the complex is the AC Milan Tournament Cup, a two-day elite playoff, set for the middle of July.

It's a big tournament - exactly what the complex was designed to attract - but it's the only event booked, so far.

While the complex sits empty, there is interest from the local soccer community, but the city is in talks with an out-of-state vendor to manage and maintain the complex. Those talks haven't turned into a contract, with soccer season about to start.

1/24/2013 Related Story: Youth Soccer Growing In Popularity In Tulsa

The city says the legal and purchasing departments are handling the negotiations, while the Parks Director said she's working on a Plan B, if the contract doesn't work out.

And that plan is to have the parks department run it this year, with the goal of building up the number of events over several years.

Parks Director Lucy Dolman said Tuesday, "We know the importance of this, we just have to get the players in place."

She said they hope to know something by the end of the month.