Project Green Image USE.jpg

A rendering of the Iowa West Foundation’s planned indoor turf facility.

The Enhance Iowa Board awarded $1,449,648 in Community Attraction and Tourism grants to sports complexes in Council Bluffs and West Des Moines, a swimming pool in Cascade and a cinema in Iowa City. The awards were approved at Wednesday’s meeting in Des Moines.

The Iowa West Sports Plex in Council Bluffs was awarded $400,000 for the $8.5 million project.

The Council Bluffs project includes the construction of a 75,000-square-foot indoor turf facility for athletes of multiple sports that will be located south and west of Quaker Steak and Lube

The facility will house one regulation youth soccer field that can be broken out into separate smaller fields for practice and play, drop down hitting tunnels and netting for diamond sports, three electronic scoreboards, concessions, staff work space, conference rooms, restrooms/change rooms and a family gathering mezzanine level.

With the $400,000 CAT grant, Arian Haddix, executive director of the Council Bluffs Soccer Club, a growing 501©3 with a mission to help youth maximize their potential through a first-class soccer experience with a safe atmosphere for practice and play, said the organization has raised $6.881 million of the $8.5 million needed to build the facility.

“We have $2 million in outstanding grant requests that we should know about within the next 60 days,” she said.

“We’ve had a lot of community support, and we’ve raised just over $100,000 through our community campaign,” Haddix said. “We’ve had a lot of business support, and we’re hoping that — combined with the CAT grant — will generate individual support.”

The CBSC’s mission is to be a first class soccer club for youth — regardless of ability or socio economic status — to maximize their soccer experience with a safe atmosphere for practice and play, quality, professional training, and well-organized game competition that is developmentally appropriate.

Named in honor of the Iowa West Foundation’s lead gift of $4.5 million, the 75,000 square foot facility will be located along 23rd Avenue in the Mid-America Center entertainment district west of the Iowa West Field House and create a Sports Village concept in the area.

CBSC envisions a home facility with a community feel that is animated with activity year-round. Local teams, leagues, and multiple sport clubs that need the space will be able to take advantage of all youth sports has to offer at affordable rates.

Families that previously did not participate because they could not afford to pay the fees or transportation costs associated with other leagues in the region will be able to utilize a welcoming, inclusive space in their hometown and have a sense of pride in their community.

Construction on the Iowa West Sports Plex is set to begin this summer with the goal to open in the spring of 2020.

The club emphasizes quality, professional training; and well-organized game competition that is developmentally appropriate for all levels of play. By providing opportunities to all players regardless of ability to pay, CBSC seeks to shape players of all ages who compete with courage and share the value of commitment to self, team, club, and community.

The organization is the result of a merger between the Council Bluffs Youth Soccer Association and the Council Bluffs Futbol Club, two competing organizations that came together in 2016 to create a unified infrastructure for the sake of the 2,000-plus athletes they serve.

It is now the largest youth soccer organization in the state of Iowa and will likely grow upon completion of the Iowa West Sports Plex.

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