Odessa Soccer Association to remain at Sherwood Park
ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) - According to a Facebook post from OSA President Tom Martinez, OSA will be remaining at Sherwood Park.
In the post Martinez says:
Odessa Soccer had a very productive meeting with the City of Odessa personnel today, July 27, where several details regarding the Sherwood Park issue were discussed on both sides.
The Fall 2023 season will be played at Sherwood Park as planned and we will continue to meet with the City to make long-term plans for soccer at Sherwood Park.
A Facebook post by the City of Odessa led to tense discussion about the location of the Odessa Soccer Association.
The city alleges the association didn’t have proper permission to install and work on its storage building at Sherwood Park, but the association disagrees.
Odessa city officials recommend that the soccer association relocates to Comanche Trails Park, but the association says that park is not big enough to accommodate its members.
It’s been two years since the Odessa Soccer Association moved operations from UTPB to Sherwood park, a move that sparked controversy among the city, university and association.
Their location became a tense topic again last week.
In a July 11 council work session, council and the parks and recreation department alleged previous city employees and the association did not get proper permits for its storage building at Sherwood Park.
The association says it was not notified about the session and found out about the city’s recommendation via social media.
“We were not invited to that meeting,” said Tom Martinez, president of Odessa Soccer Association. “We would have gladly gone to the meeting to tell our side of the story. Right now all the city council and the city has is one side of the story.”
Martinez says his colleagues are ready to show documentation, emails and permits to city officials.
“We anticipate that they’ll see that we did have permission. We did everything completely and totally as you’re supposed to,” Martinez said.
A post about the recommendation to the City of Odessa’s Facebook brought about 150 comments, with most users concerned about the suggested relocation.
The association says Comanche Park doesn’t have enough fields or parking to accommodate its estimated 200 teams.
“We usually have about 2,000 soccer kids and we play, I’m gonna say 60 to 80 games on Saturday. It’s just not big enough, " said David Hisaw, director of referees for Odessa Soccer Association.
The city says Comanche Park is a better, safer option and is the solution to improper permits and previous city employees who did not have the authority to authorize some of the association’s actions.
The association says it has invested about $250,000 to move its building and equipment to Sherwood in 2021.
“We could’ve been stopped when the pad was built, when the foundation was poured, before the walls were up,” Hisaw said. “We could’ve been stopped before we spent an excessive amount of money to relocate.”
During the council’s work session, officials said they issued a stop work order for renovations to the building recently. Officials also alleged improper concrete and permit address issues.
City workers were not available for interviews.
Hisaw said the association felt blindsided. Martinez says the recommendation has caused unrest among members.
“I think with social media we’ve gotten way off subject, you know? It’s about the kids,” Hisaw said. “Letting the kids play. Let the kids have a safe place, good fields to play on. It’s not about ‘he said, she said.’ I think we need to just step back and say you know, let the kids play.”
Martinez says that the soccer association plans to attend the next city council meeting on Tuesday evening.
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