By Heather Asiyanbi
Kids of all ages who love to play soccer soon won't have to put up with weather dictating when they can play. A new soccer complex featuring 2 indoor fields, an outdoor field, banquet space, locker rooms and all the necessary amenities is set to open by the end of the year, in time for the back half of the 2009-2010 indoor soccer season.
Fernando Bahena and Budd Busceni are partners in the new Sportplex LLC, set to break ground on Monday. Construction is slated to complete by the end of the year with landscaping commencing in the spring. Total cost for the project, including the land, is $5.7 million.
Boasting 94,000 square feet, Sportplex is designed to welcome soccer leagues for both youth and adults. One of the soccer fields is also suitable for indoor lacrosse, a sport in demand in the region, much to the surprise of both Bahena and Busceni. Another surprise was the need for space to play futsal, a faster version of soccer that is played on hardwood with a ball that doesn't bounce.
"We were surprised when our market research indicated a need for this," Busceni said. "The wood court can also be used for volleyball leagues and basketball as well."
The only major design change, said Greg Thompson, CEO of BCI Group, contractors for the complex, is the possible expansion for a complimentary tenant. 14,000 square feet had been originally set aside for a physical therapy or a sports training practice, but has since been changed until Sportplex can secure a commitment.
"We've left the design open for possible expansion in the future," Thompson confirmed.
Initially, Sportplex is expected to generate a mix of between nine and 12 full- and part-timejobs. Busceni said more positions will need to be filled as the business expands; everything from managers for the sports and banquet sides of the complex, waitstaff, maintenance, food service and others.
Bahena and Busceni hope to have commitments from leagues sometime this fall, for both indoor and outdoor play. They are also interested in forming partnerships with community organizations to provide athletic opportunities for everyone from students in Racine Unified schools to day camp for kids during the summer and more.
"This is a great location because of our proximity to Milwaukee and the northern suburbs of Chicago," Busceni said. "But we really want to be a good neighbor to those around us and work with groups from across the region."