Soccer waited too long

By:  Diane Benjamin

According to Moody’s, Bloomington-Normal is now in a recession.   See yesterday’s story Here

A recession is at least 6 months of stagnant wages, fall in retail sales, contraction of GDP, and high unemployment.  Here it could also mean people have left because opportunities are limited.

I wonder if this is why Bloomington quit publishing tax receipts information?  Remember when Hales used to include this chart in the City Manager’s report:taxes

Transparency? Nope!

The soccer people expecting government to build them a new complex could be out of luck.  They claim Normal is on board, but Normal also has huge debt.  Since tax receipts are going down in Bloomington they probably are in Normal too.  Since neither city has acknowledged that trouble is here, how long before they are in serious trouble?  How is Normal going to pay all that TIF debt with declining revenue?



The person who sent this information to me is NOT signing their child up for soccer BECAUSE of the groveling for tax dollars.

The email below was sent by a soccer organizer:  (I left the grammatically errors, just highlighted some parts)


Hi Coaches & Managers,

Please share this with others.

I trust you are all doing well. Last week the club sent out an email regarding the status of the fields etc. We need everyone to get involved in order for everyone to have somewhere to play. Some 3000 -4000 people play soccer in the community.

I wanted to give you a bit more detail, encourage your participation and to encourage others to participate too.

History-Community fields is scheduled to close soon. Probably June 2018 at the end of the 2017/2018 season. This is due to the FAA wanting to close it due to safety concerns. Concerns that came up some time ago. It will remain open if work on a new complex has begun.

Town of Normal are committed to building a new state of the art facility. Currently do not own any soccer fields.

City of Bloomington-currently have no interest in building a new complex, apart from a couple of council members. They own no soccer fields. They recently released a 10 year parks and rec master plan with no planned soccer fields.

What we are trying to achieve-we are trying to get the City Of Bloomington to put money into this project to help Normal with the development of the fields. The fields can still be built without Bloomington, but it would be much better if we can get them involved. We are not asking for a tax raise. Bloomington currently have money that could go towards this as they have paid off old debt. In addition perhaps adding a hotel tax would help offset the cost. Ideally the new complex will have other athletic facilities too, as many other sports need facilities too.

What You & Others Can Do To Help-

We want to make it known that there is an immediate need for new facilities. The discussion on this has been going on for over 10 years and nothing has happened to this point. If the voters make it known that it is an important need for our community, then something will be done. If not, nothing will be done.

Here is what we are encouraging you all and others to do.

Email your council members

Call your council members

Meet with your council members

Attend council meetings and speak

Attend Mayor meetings and bring up the concern

Do the same with the new people running for office

Contact local news outlets and let them know of the immediate need

Post on social media.

This needs to be done starting now and continue for as long as we can maintain it.

We don’t want the communication to be cookie cutter, as we have been told that they get ignored. Instead use your own words and tell your own story.

Here are some bullet points.

What are your plans for when we lose Community Fields at the end of 2017?

Where do you specifically stand on this situation?

If they disperse kids throughout the community, we could have one kid on the west side of town and another kid on the east side of town practicing at the same time.   Is that correct?

How do you expect the elimination of the fields to effect the Quality of Life for (3000?) kids & Adults who play recreational and travel soccer here?

If we don’t have fields, we will lose teams.  Families will go to Peoria, Champaign, Chicago, etc. to play and spend their money.  Is that what you want?

I personally know kids who are off the streets because we give them the opportunity to soccer.  What will you do when more kids are carousing our towns?  What are you going to offer them to do?

This is more than just soccer.  You also need to consider lacrosse, cricket, etc.

Please help pass the word on this important project.

If you have questions or need more information, please let me know.


Myron King

Director of Coaching


Illinois Fusion Soccer Assoc

705 E. Lincoln Suite 115

Normal, IL 61761


15 thoughts on “Soccer waited too long

      1. Since Rivian is not going to be really making any cars… perhaps some inside fields would make sense. Year round soccer fields – there is a lot of room in there!


  1. The downward economic spiral for this area has begun. It will be soon become so evident that even our leadership will be forced to admit it. Right now they are in denial and hoping that it is not real. But it is real and it is happening and ignoring it will not make things better. If fact ignoring it will make things much worse. I predict that the number of houses for sale will begin to edge upward and the prices of existing homes will begin to fall. We have leadership that is vastly unprepared to deal with the realities that they (and we) will soon face.


  2. Well, let me think. Did the city build the baseball field on Ireland Grove Road?
    No, took a lot of volunteers working very hard and private donations to obtain and make the fields.
    “Soccer” = Third world sport for our “banana republic” to finance!


  3. I thought Nord had donated land for fields? I get that they need to be prepped and a few buildings built.

    Also, there is a new indoor tennis complex that opened this fall. The gov didn’t fund that….correct?


  4. This would be a great opportunity for our congressmen to work with the FAA to get this waived and continue to play on the existing fields. The number of commercial flights on a Saturday during soccer games is very minimal.


  5. It’s interesting to read the lies. The current community fields are not used by adult teams. The adult league is played at the sale barn. Only pcsl and fusion use those fields, so calling them community fields is a joke. No other club or sport is aloud to use them, after years of asking. His numbers are so inflated it’s ridiculous. Pcsl is somewhere near 1200 kids, and they continue to drop in numbers. If you are going to wife your council memeber, be sure to add that it cannot be like the current community fields, or only 2 groups will benefit. At the price we pay for our children to play for fusion, why can’t we just buy or lease land/fields? Why ask the town to pay for it?


  6. I would like to know Mr. King could support his claim that “I personally know kids who are off the streets because we give them the opportunity to soccer. What will you do when more kids are carousing our towns? What are you going to offer them to do?”

    Do these kids he is referring to not go about the town when they aren’t playing? Do they have to sign a contract saying they won’t in order to play with his club? Perhaps these kids could consider playing baseball, basketball, football, golf, chess club, or join one of the many running clubs, if they are not already involved. They could also take advantage of the many parks we do have in the area with a lot of room for soccer to be played.

    If their soccer is such a big economic driver, perhaps they should partner with the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau to redirect funding from other activities that bring about less of an economic impact to build and maintain their fields.


  7. I’m out of the soccer loop but isn’t there a large area of land on Hamilton/ 51(The old sale barn) that has expansion opportunities? I only drive by it from time to time but the aerial shows two mowed fields and room for about 6 more fields with ample parking. Why not use whats already available?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s