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Manchester Gets Money For New Soccer Fields

Manchester Sports Park land... By Barry West

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation announced recently 50 grants to go out across the state, including a $175,000 matching grant to go to Manchester to develop soccer fields at the recently purchased Manchester Sports Park. The grant is a 50-50 match, meaning Manchester needed to come up with $175,000 for the application process. But the cash is coming from Park Partners, a local nonprofit, and the Coffee County Youth Soccer League – not the City of Manchester. Park Partners is putting up $120,000 towards the match and the soccer league is putting up $5,000. The other $50,000 will come in the form of in-kind labor matches. Director of Manchester Parks and Recreation Bonnie Gamble told WMSR last week that originally, soccer facilities were planned to go on land donated by the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. But a wetlands issue put a snag in that process. “The wetlands meant not as much usable acreage as the Manchester Sports Park. Gamble said she hopes construction can begin by springtime.