News Fields in Future

Idaho Press Tribune 17 Apr 2001 - Front Page

Nampa Optimists see fields in future

Youth football league close to deal for sports complex

Brad Hem

NAMPA -- Organizers of the Nampa Optimist Youth Football program have their sights set on a complex of gridirons to be put on city land targeted for a new park.

Ken Wilson, the program's director, said the league has an agreement with the city's Parks and Recreation Department to put 10 fields and a storage and concessions building on 25 acres of land north of Ridgecrest Golf Course. The site is at the intersection of Birch Lane and 11th Avenue North Extension.

Earlier this year, the North Nampa Urban Renewal Agency gave the city the land which is adjacent to the future site of Vallivue School District's fourth elementary school.

Nampa Parks Director Alan Caba said a park will definitely be created on the farmland, but there has been no official decision to build football fields there. he said he has discussed the idea with the football program's leaders.

"We've talked with them and it looks promising, but there is no decision yet," Caba said.

He said Monday the City Council did not know about the negotiations and it would be up to council members to approve a contract with the Optimists.

Wilson said his group is committed to raising at least $100,000 to develop the land and also would commit to making improvements, such as adding playground equipment, each year. he said the fields would be ready for use in the fall of 2002.

The Optimist football league had 250 players on 10 teams in its first season last fall. The group is expecting about twice as many this year, so the league needs a place to expand. Games have been played at West Middle School, but lack of space was a problem last year, Wilson said.

Reprinted by permission of Idaho Press Tribune
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