AYSO Region 18's Field Journey - Part 1
AYSO Region 18 in Manhattan Beach, Calif., faced a dilemma a lot of AYSO Regions face: their fields were falling apart. One field area in particular was very worn out (see photo on right
They had a limited amount of field space to begin with, and this meant that the space that was available took a beating every game day.
"We have 3,500 players so we're the third largest AYSO Region," shared Michael Hinz, the Region's Project Manager. "Our fields get used like crazy. During the fall season, we had up to three teams on the field at once."
The Region considered several possible solutions to their field problem: Keep shutting the field down three months out of the year for watering and seeding, try to find a different place to play or get the field "turfed."
Region 18 decided to turn the problem grass field into a turf field in 2011. It wouldn’t be a cheap venture, and the Region immediately started thinking of ways to raise the funds to make the transformation possible.
Here’s a breakdown of Region 18’s spectacular fundraising effort:
• The Region gave every player 10 $20 discount cards to sell. The discount cards could be used at local business surrounding the Region. Players and volunteers sold over $80,000 worth of cards!
• AYSO Region 18 was aware that another soccer organization – Manhattan Beach Sand and Surf Soccer club – also used their fields. They approached the club to let them know their intentions to re-do the field, and the club donated $200,000 to the turf field project.
• Held a soccer tournament in 2012. All proceeds from the tournament – totaling $3,200 – were applied to the turf field project.
• Coordinated with a local pizza company and family restaurant; these businesses agreed to donate 25 percent of their year-end party bills to the turf project.
This is not a complete list of Region 18’s fundraising projects, but it shows the variety of companies and creative opportunities that were used to make their turf fields happen. After fundraising, Region 18 raised over $845,000!
But after raising the money, there were still a lot of decisions to be made: What turf company is the best option? How long would it take? Would they need back up fields while the work was being done?
To find out how Region 18 proceeded in their field journey, stay tuned to The Commish
to read future installments of this series.