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Youth sports in Abilene set to be boosted with new AYSA expansion project


ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – Several sports fields will soon be developed near the Abilene Zoo and Grover Nelson Park, providing opportunities for young athletes to compete locally.

On Thursday, the Abilene City Council voted to expand the facilities of the Abilene Youth Sports Authority (AYSA). This would allow the group to develop new fields on the park land, with a 40-year lease for $1.00 per year.

“We are grateful, for starters, they see the vision of what youth sports can become and empower our kids here to play locally,” said AYSA Executive Director Brandon Osborne. “But also gives us the opportunity to bring teams from across the state of Texas and experience Abilene. So it’s a big effort for Abilene.

Map of AYSA Sports Field Plans (Via Abilene City Council and Abilene Youth Sports Authority)

Osborne told KTAB/KRBC that the grounds would potentially host football, soccer, lacrosse and even rugby matches. This, helping to attract more young athletes and their families for weekend tournaments.

“For every youth sports tournament that brings in out-of-town visitors, the visitor will spend about $200 per athlete per day,” said Abilene Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President Robert Lopez. .

Lopez said the expansion not only could generate significant revenue for the Abilene economy, but it should also save money with our local teams, especially travel expenses.

“It’s very difficult to find 10 fields in one place,” Lopez explained. “So it’s hugely beneficial, not just for visitors and people who want to run tournaments, but also locally.”

Osborne said the total funds for this project would require AYSA to raise $10 million, with the city then contributing up to $5 million to establish the fields near Grover Nelson Park.

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