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Nov 9 - Dec 31, 2023

SPOTLIGHT: Salinas Regional Soccer Complex

Kicking Off

The Salinas Regional Soccer Complex is well underway—but more funding is needed for future phases.

By Rey Mashayekhi

Growing up in Salinas, Jonathan De Anda remembers playing on the fields of the Salinas Regional Soccer Complex when they were more dirt than grass. “It was hard to find a place to practice and play,” he recalls. “The facilities weren’t up to standard. Playing travel soccer, there were teams from the Bay Area that wouldn’t want to come down and play against us.”

Now, in his role as the complex’s manager, De Anda is helping to ensure that the next generation has a world-class facility at their disposal—one equipped with top-caliber grass and synthetic fields, as well as other infrastructure that will make it a state-of-the-art resource.

Though the nonprofit Salinas Regional Sports Authority was formed back in 2008, it took a decade to finalize a lease with the City of Salinas for the 68-acre property at Constitution Boulevard and East Laurel Drive, and to secure the public and private financing needed to commence construction. Work finally began in late 2018 on the project’s $1.5 million first phase—which ripped up the old fields, built a new irrigation system, laid 14 new grass fields, and installed a half-mile walking path and exercise stations.

Phase 2 broke ground earlier this year and is split into two parts. The $8 million Phase 2A will bring two

full-size, synthetic soccer fields that will allow the complex to operate year-round, plus more than 400 new parking spots and a new entrance/exit on Constitution Boulevard. De Anda says $2 million of the $3 million needed for Phase 2B has already been raised—with another $1 million required to begin work on 2,500 bleacher seats, night-time floodlights and a scoreboard.

Further out, the $5 million Phase 3 would include seven more grass fields, plus a sand court that could accommodate 16 beach volleyball courts. Last but not least, the $16 million Phase 4 would build five multipurpose courts allowing tennis, basketball, futsal and pickleball, as well as a two-story fieldhouse with an indoor soccer field, a cafeteria, and space to house after-school programs, a day care, and a

mental health and wellness center.

“Soccer is at the core of it, but it’s a facility and organization that does a lot more than soccer,” De Anda says. “It’s a resource to enrich peoples’ lives through physical activity.”