Possible Stroh Sale Leaves Soccer In Question

Hundreds of kids in Longview may have to look for a new place to play soccer.

The playing fields, leased by the Longview Soccer Association from the old Stroh's brewery, are for sale.

And now, parents worry about their children's future in soccer.

Mayor Earl Roberts made a campaign promise in 2000 to develop new fields, but those have yet to be constructed.

Three years ago Earl Roberts, as a candidate for mayor, encouraged a local businessman to donate 96 acres.

The promise was to develop a sports complex complete with baseball and soccer fields.

Today, Lear park has baseball, but no soccer fields.

"I told the folks then that we were going have soccer fields for kids. I tell them now that we will have soccer fields for kids. I did not tell anyone that we would have soccer fields immediately," says Mayor Roberts.

Now the Stroh complex is for sale and an anonymous letter recently sent to parents states the Soccer Association could lose their lease in 30 days.

"As a coach, parent and registrar I sign up over 1440 kids. Another 200 to 300 playing in competitive soccer that use these fields. We don't want an uncertain future. We don't want a 30 day lease or a 30 day notice," says Don Woody.

Mayor Roberts says a committee developed a plan in case the Stroh complex was sold.

But he's not sure just what that plan is.

Mayor Roberts says the future of Longview soccer is Lear park.

The next step is finding the money.

"I can't tell you for sure but that's a priority of mine and I want to get it developed as quickly as possible," says the Mayor.

"Where's all the answers at? He's suppose to have all the answers. We're not getting any answers and we're getting nothing done either," says Dan Bradshaw.

Bradshaw and Kim Cannon are both parents of soccer players.

"I would like to see him have a plan. Not just say he has a plan," says Cannon.

Mayor Roberts says he plans to determine how to pay for the Lear park soccer complex in the next six months.

Whether or not the Stroh complex sales, Mayor Roberts says he will make sure Longview kids have a place to play soccer.

Amy Tatum, reporting.