News Park Ground Breaking

Idaho Press Tribune 24 May 2001 - Front Page

Optimists tackle football park

Ground breaking marks start of work on complex

Nathaniel Hoffman - IPT

NAMPA - The vision of new playing fields for the Nampa Optimist Youth Football program moved closer to fruition Wednesday.

A ground breaking ceremony all but guaranteed the program a future home on a 25-acre city park on Nampa’s north side. The park is being developed at Birch Lane and the 11th Avenue Extension.

The project will allow the civic club to "involve as many of the youth as we can while maintaining the quality of the program," Football Committee member Kenny Wroten said.

The Optimists have set up a Founders’ Club to raise $100,000 through individual, commercial, and corporate sponsors. The money will be used for the improvements to the park, including up to 10 fields, concessions, restrooms and playgrounds.

Organizers hope to have the fields ready for the fall of 2002.

Optimist Football has almost doubled participation going into its second year. About 400 players and cheerleaders have signed up for the league’s season this fall and will start practicing in August.

Football Park Ground Breaking

Dusty Scudder, right, commissioner for the Nampa Optimist Football program, explains where different sections of athletic fields will be located to Mike Gray, past president of the Nampa Optimist Club. Officials broke ground to the complex on Wednesday.

Games have been played at West Middle School, but the club said lack of space was sometimes a problem last year.

Nampa City Council President Lynda Clark commended the Optimists as well as the Urban Renewal Agency, the Chamber of Commerce, the city of Nampa, and others in attendance at Wednesday’s ceremony for being part of "a tremendous partnership community."

The partnership is similar to arrangements the city has with other organizations that support youth sports.

Reprinted by permission of Idaho Press Tribune
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