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Regional sports complex headed to Roseville

Multimillion-dollar tournament facility could bring up to $12 million to South Placer economy
By: Jon Brines, Placer Herald correspondent
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The city of Roseville, in response to a request for proposals, has selected Placer Valley Tourism for the design, construction, financing, operations and maintenance of a sports park designed to support a regional soccer field complex.

The deal still has to be approved by the Roseville City Council. In a Sept. 30 letter to the PVT, Roseville Parks, Recreation and Libraries Department Director Dominick Ca-sey said PVT’s proposal “best met the city’s overall objectives at the least financial impact to city resources.”

At one time the facility was estimated to cost nearly $30 million, but officials close to the project said “fundamental design issues” still need to be worked out before a final design can be submitted for approval.

The site is in the West Roseville Specific Plan in Fiddyment Farms and is tentatively planned for eight lighted synthetic soccer/multi-use fields, according to Roseville spokesman Brian Jacobson.

“The funding source for construction has not yet been determined,” he said. “The purpose is to provide our community with outstanding recreation options and have more opportunities to bring outside sporting events and visitors to Roseville.”

Officials from PVT declined to comment until direct talks with the city could begin, but did indicate they were pleased so far.

In 2011, officials from the city of Rocklin made a big push to have the facility built just six miles north of the proposed location on a 100-acre site adjacent to William Jessup University. But the existing land owners would not commit and the city backed off the project, according to Rocklin Public Affairs Manager Karen Garner.

“We are pleased that PVT and the city of Roseville are moving forward on the project, as it will bring benefits to the entire region,” Garner said.

A study completed by Ripken Designs, a consultant for PVT, estimated the economic impact could create $8.1 million to $12.7 million in revenue annually and could indirectly create between 70 and 120 jobs.

Wendy Gerig, CEO of the Roseville Chamber of Commerce, said area cities will all benefit.

“Roseville and the South Placer region have long been a destination for a variety of sports enthusiasts — teams come with the family to play a sport and end up spending time and money in our communities,” she said. “Our hotels/motels have benefitted over the years and with this new opportunity to build a sports complex, it will definitely put our area on the map — we are very excited to see these plans moving forward.”

Placer Valley Tourism, a Business Improvement District, was incorporated in 2004 by the city of Roseville to market Roseville, Rocklin and Lincoln as a tourism destination in order to generate incremental room nights in the 16 regional hotels, according to its website. Cassi Rogers of the Greater Sacramento Softball Association hopes there will still be availability with all the sports interest in the area.

“If we are having an event in South Placer County along with the soccer complex, we might have trouble finding enough hotel rooms,” she said. “That would be a good problem for Placer Valley Tourism.”

Rogers said depending on how long an event lasts, typical tourism spending for her athletes and their families could be sizable.

“As for tourism spending, it all depends on the number of nights an event is running and the type of event. At our national tournaments, a family of four might spend $200 per day on travel, food, hotels and other incidentals.”

Rogers said the area still needs to work on appropriate diamond playing facilities.

“As for softball events, we would love to be able to bring larger tourism events to the Placer Valley area, but right now we are severely limited due to lack of appropriate playing facilities. Hopefully in the future we can get an eight- to 12-field softball complex so we can bid on the really large softball events. With over 30,000 participants in the Greater Sacramento Softball Program, we definitely have the need for such a facility.”

The Rocklin Parks and Recreation Commission got its first look at a proposed design for a new five-diamond soft-ball/baseball facility for a vacant field adjacent to Whitney Ranch Community Park, which already has four ball fields.

Rocklin Public Services Director Rick Forstall told the commission at its Oct. 9 meeting it is being called the “diamond hub complex.”

“I think it will be very enticing,” Forstall said.

With more than 200-foot field depth with space for team practice sessions, Forstall hopes it will entice future tournament play.

Forstall acknowledged the proposed Roseville soccer complex and pointed out existing ball fields at nearby Rocklin community parks Whitney Ranch, Kathy Lund and Margaret Azevedo should fill the need.

“This will really allow a large program to come in and operate,” he told the commission.

A budget and funding sources for the project still have to be determined before the public and the Rocklin City Council get a look at it.