Solar contract stalled

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Photo by Kaity Chaikowsky.

Months after negotiations began, the signature fields remain empty on a contract that could bring an outside soccer club onto University of Dallas fields as well as fund improvements to UD’s new soccer field.

Administration officials say the plan is still moving forward and seem confident the deal will be finalized in time.

“We still have a few weeks before we are in danger of not having the field ready by fall,” Acting President John Plotts said in an email.

The potential contract would be with Solar Soccer Club, a developmental academy club in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. The plan would move the UD men’s and women’s soccer teams up to the old lacrosse field. It will also provide funding for resurfacing the field and installing lights.

Both Plotts and UD men’s soccer head coach David Hoffmann confirmed that the contract has been delivered to Solar to review and make any necessary edits.

“We would hope to have that in place next week,” Hoffmann said in an email on Friday, Apr. 27. “This is not something in UD control though.”

Plotts said that everything is on schedule to have the field and lights ready for the start of soccer season next fall.

No improvements can be made until the contract is signed, according to Plotts.

“Of course, the sooner we can get started the better,” Plotts said.

“In my mind the lights are less [of] a concern than the grass having a chance to establish itself,” Hoffmann said. “If things are delayed, we do have the ability to conduct pre-season training off of the field.”

Both the men’s and women’s lacrosse teams played their spring seasons on the old soccer field. Protective netting was positioned behind the goals on both sides of the field to accommodate the switch. A shot clock was also installed.

The new soccer field is not currently being used, and has signs instructing visitors to keep off the field.

“It would ultimately be the decision of the athletics director, but it is a pretty simple thing to play on what is now the lacrosse field if we need a bit more time to wrap up the project,” Hoffman said. “I don’t see any need to be concerned at this point.”

Athletics Director Dick Strockbine was not immediately available for comment on the matter.

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