Overland Park Posed to Reap Soccer Benefits

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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) _ Johnson County voters rejected a $75 million bond for soccer fields two years ago, but now Overland Park has its plan for dealing with the growing demand for such fields.

Overland Park is building $35 million in high-grade soccer fields that have attracted commitments for 19 tournaments worth about $400,000 to the city. The 12-field complex opens in September.

Johnson County's failed $75 million bond issue called for 24 lighted tournament-quality fields. A property tax increase would have paid for the fields.

Overland Park took over and found city-owned land and agreed to pay the $35 million construction costs, using an increase in its hotel tax, some liquor tax proceeds and user fees.

The fields are booked for every weekend through November after they open Sept. 1.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)