Salinas Regional Sports Authority has received $5 million in state funding that will be used to continue development of its world-class Salinas Regional Soccer Complex. Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed budget legislation developed as a collaboration between Senator Ana Caballero (D-Salinas) and State Assemblymember, 30th District, Robert Rivas (D-Hollister).
“I am proud of work to include $5 million in the state budget for a new soccer complex in Salinas,” said Caballero. “This has been a project that I have worked on and supported for many years. Families from all over the region use the soccer field. The soccer complex will provide a space for community members to stay physically active, build relationships and enjoy the outdoors.”
Located in the heart of the Salinas Valley, the soccer complex plans include 21 tournament-quality outdoor fields, an indoor field, an indoor learning, health and training center, a Celebration Plaza, a children’s play area, a perimeter walking and exercise path, and picnic areas.
“This investment will go a long way in helping to foster health and support vibrant local small businesses. A soccer complex of this size has the potential to draw large tournaments, bringing extensive economic benefits to the surrounding area,” said Rivas. “Spanning more than a decade, this project has been the result of the hard work and efforts of dedicated community members, business leaders and elected officials coming together to create something special in Salinas.”
In addition to the important economic benefits provided by the complex, another driver for developing it is the potential impact on education. By some estimates, just 30 percent of students who don’t participate in sports graduate from high school, whereas 70 percent of athletic program participants complete high school and go on to graduate from college.
Monterey County and the City of Salinas each previously contributed $250,000 to the project, and Monterey County Supervisor, 1st District, Luis Alejo and Salinas City Manager Ray Corpuz Jr. expressed their excitement about the additional funding. “Our community benefits from facilities like the soccer complex to come together, and encourage our children to be involved in positive, nurturing, and physical activities,” said Alejo.
“Five million dollars was essential for kicking off phase two and will spur ongoing and new support, as well as private funding to continue development into the final phase,” said Corpuz. “Our youth and their enthusiasm for soccer really helped engaged the whole community in this project, and to begin to see results will be a game-changer. The buzz is extremely high and everyone involved is really excited to watch a longtime idea become a reality.”