Uihlein Soccer Park could be expanded with the addition of four new outdoor fields and an indoor facility.
The Milwaukee County-owned soccer complex is located along West Good Hope Road, east of North 76th Street. Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club Inc., which leases the soccer park from the county, is seeking to expand the park by constructing a full-sized indoor turf field and adding four full-size outdoor fields
According to an application filed recently with the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, the four new outdoor fields would be developed on land directly south of the park.
The project is expected to cost $150,000, and would represent an expansion of the soccer park to the north. The additional land is needed due to the increasing number of visitors and events at the park, the application states. According to the Milwaukee Kickers, more than 600,000 people visit Uihlein Soccer Park each year.
“The park is the only sports complex in the state (perhaps the Midwest) with the quantity and type (grass, artificial turf, walled) of indoor and outdoor fields,” the group writes in its application. “The additional land further enhances the park’s unique offering of athletes throughout the Milwaukee area.”
Milwaukee Kickers are seeking a variance to operate the soccer fields on the land, which is presently zoned for light industrial uses.
Meanwhile, the organization is also laying plans to construct a new indoor field at the soccer park. According to county documents, Milwaukee Kickers would like to build an air-supported structure that would allow players and groups to practice and compete year-round.
According to a permit application filed with the city in July, the structure would total 96,600 square feet and cost $1 million.
The new outdoor fields would primarily be used for soccer, but could also be used for other sports such as lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, ultimate Frisbee and flag football. The indoor field would be used for those sports in addition to softball.
In December, the Milwaukee County Board of Supervisors backed a resolution to explore ways of financing the indoor facility. The resolution was then signed by County Executive Chris Abele in early January.
Milwaukee Kickers have leased the soccer park from the county since 1994. The initial lease was for 20 years, with three optional 10-year extensions. The lease was extended in 2004 and in 2014, the County Board approved a 15-year extension that allowed for two more 15-year extensions. The current lease ends on Oct. 31, 2029.
The county originally paid for the construction of the park, but Milwaukee Kickers have made further improvements to the land and existing facilities since that time. The total value of land improvements since 2001 is roughly $2.46 million, and the total value of facility improvements since 2001 totals about $958,000.
Representatives of Milwaukee Kickers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.