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Athletic Complex opens four fields this spring

The City of Tea finished phase three of its Athletic Complex plan at the end of 2015.

Kevin Nissen, planning and zoning administrator, said they started improving the Athletic Complex six years ago when they purchased land from the American Legion to change how the Legion field faced and to add another field.

After completing those two fields, Nissen said they waited a couple more years before completing phase two. In that phase, they constructed the bathroom and concessions building, improved sidewalks and worked on soccer fields.

In this latest phase, they added two more ball diamonds, tennis courts and another section of soccer fields, along with the parking lot. To finish phase three, they needed to purchase the land the elevator was on and demolish that structure. The elevator was burned down Nov. 9, 2014 and the rubble was removed to make way for the Athletic Complex.

“I think we’re set for a little bit. I think we’re still behind for the number of fields we need for a community (this size), but this will help,” Nissen said.

At the completion of phase three, the complex now has four ball fields, flex fields for youth soccer, t-ball or flag football, two tennis courts and a 358-spot parking lot.

Nissen said new bleachers and a press box should arrive any time. The bleachers will replace three sets of small bleachers currently at field A, or the championship field. Once those are in, Nissen said more improvements are likely down the road a ways.

More plans will not take place until more development starts up and 7th Street goes in. Future plans include more parking on the south end of the complex, four little league fields, an adult softball field and more concessions and restrooms.

Nissen said the complex connects to the bike trail and eventually the Athletic Complex will be a central hub.

“Eventually there’ll be a bike path that loops all the way around the city then this will be the central hub and everything kind of comes into this area,” he said.

Since Tea does not have an industrial park in city limits, Nissen said they are hoping the Athletic Complex helps to draw teams from around the area and out of state. He feels that is already working with Tempo Soccer Club soccer tournament coming to Tea this weekend.

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