Lexington Sporting Club gets $1 million for youth sports fields

Lexington Sporting Cub is expected to receive $1 million in local money to cover infrastructure costs to develop at least seven youth soccer fields on Athens Boonesboro Road for a private soccer club.

Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council on Tuesday initially approved a $1 million local incentive agreement between the city and Lexington Sporting Club.

The council is expected to finally approve the deal in June.

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The agreement requires Lexington Sporting Club to employ five full-time employees at the site, which is currently under construction. The average salary for these people is $35,000 per year for 10 years.

The money will go toward roads, drainage and other infrastructure improvements, said Kevin Atkins, the city’s chief development officer.

The council allocated $1 million for youth athletic fields last year. At the time, council members did not specify who the $1 million was for.

During those discussions in 2022, some council members expressed reservations about allocating that money unless the fields are open to the public.

Although the playing fields aren’t public, more than 1,400 kids play at Lexington Sporting Club, Atkins said.

Vince Gabbert, president of the Lexington Sporting Club, said the sports fields would host tournaments that would bring in much-needed tourism funds to the area.

“The investment in the athletic field alone is $20 million,” Gabbert said.

In addition to the city’s incentives, the Lexington Sporting Club has also received approval for incentives from the Kentucky Enterprise Initiative Act, which include sales tax rebates on construction and other costs.

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The youth sports fields were approved in September 2022. Up to 13 sports fields may be built.

In addition, Lexington Sporting Club is also looking for a new home for a football stadium. In April, the city council gave final approval for a new 6,000-seat stadium on a lot adjacent to the youth soccer fields near Interstate 75. The Athens Boonesboro Road site was chosen after two previous sites were sunk for various reasons.

At the same time, the pro football club is looking for land in southern Jessamine County near the Fayette County line. They are also seeking tax increase funding (TIF) for this Jessamine County project. TIF allows developers to track infrastructure costs such as B. the construction of multi-storey car parks, to be covered by new taxes from the project.

Gabbert said Tuesday the group had not decided whether to choose Jessamine or Fayette County as the stadium.

“The $1 million is just for the youth soccer fields,” Gabbert said.

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