Numerous area high school fans that traveled to Frankfort for the 11th Region Boys Soccer Tournament at Sower Field at Capitol View Park were less than impressed with the complex’s field conditions, bleachers and restroom facility and many took to social media to voice their displeasure.
“Imagine the impression that Sower left on the visitors from the other Region 11 schools,” Brad Thomas, the father of a Western Hills girls soccer player, posted on Twitter. “A total redo needs to be done to remove the hill that is causing water issues; new bleachers as the current ones are too close; lights replaced and new poles installed further back; new building with sewer; regrade fields and make wider and longer.”
Even members of the media took the park’s conditions to task. Jared Peck, a Lexington Herald-Leader reporter, tweeted, “So to the folks who put the 11th Region boys semis and finals here — one bathroom? Really? Standing in line to go one at a time in one bathroom. Never mind the narrow field and tiny stand. How about renting some johns for the event?”
Matt Goins, a freelance photographer, called Sower Soccer Field “worst venue possible. Terrible pitch. Terrible lights. Regional tournaments and players deserve much better.”
In June, the Frankfort City Commission discussed the possibility of transforming the five deteriorating grass fields at the park to synthetic turf — a project that would cost roughly $2.1 million. In addition, the complex is in need of several costly infrastructure repairs — most notably sewer and lighting upgrades, which would increase the price by $600,000, according to City Manager Keith Parker.
City leaders approved spending $100,000 to do away with the septic tanks at the park and are using the in-house service of the city’s sewer department for those upgrades. However, they have not committed any money to lighting or new artificial turf.
“Almost every (high school) surrounding Frankfort has a turf field (that is) not shared by three schools. This is not a watering issue!! It’s a priority and investment issue! Look at other surrounding (high school) soccer programs and see how many have a limited five or six home game schedule,” commented Lewis Wilkerson.
While we understand a project of this magnitude takes time, planning and funding to put together, we can’t help but cringe at the statements made by visitors and residents and hope city leaders won’t drop the ball on this important project.