Making a decision: New athletic facilities
As you drive around the city you will see a number of athletics fields, including grass turf fields used for soccer, lacrosse and football; baseball fields; softball fields; and tennis courts. Within the city, we also have many indoor gyms used for basketball and volleyball.
The city continually evaluates the community's needs for athletic facilities, based on many factors, including program numbers and existing fields and their conditions.
For example, the city supports 11 youth sports associations that utilize every field/court in the area. These users are mostly from Shakopee and the surrounding communities and will eventually make up the Shakopee School District athletic teams. As each sports associations continues to grow, the need for more space is a constant challenge.
Maintenance also plays a role in our decisions. The large demand for the athletic facilities increases the maintenance needed to keep them usable. From time to time, the fields and courts must be rested or upgraded. For outdoor facilities, this can be particularly challenging.
Thankfully, the city works in partnership with the school district and area youth associations to fill the community's needs. For example, the school district currently have a joint powers agreement that allows city programs to use district facilities and, in turn, district programs to use city facilities. This is beneficial for ensuring facilities are not duplicated.
The city annually identifies potential projects through its Park Asset and Park Reserve Capital Improvement Plans. The school district also considered the community's needs when planning for the Shakopee High School expansion. For example, the expansion of Shakopee High School resulted in the removal of a full-size baseball field. Thus, the city, school district and Shakopee Youth Baseball Association worked together to replace the lost baseball field at Tahpah Park.
When needs are identified, Shakopee's youth sports association have historically stepped up and generously invested in our community. For example, SYBA baseball is donating to the Tahpah Park West baseball field. Shakopee Soccer Association and Shakopee Youth Football Association partnered to donate funds for lights at the 17th Avenue Sports Complex. Shakopee Girls Softball Association has assisted in funding lights, and Shakopee's basketball associations have funded scoreboards and the list goes on. Many of the projects the city has completed could not have been completed without the assistance from the youth sports associations and the Shakopee School District. We're thankful to have such great partners!