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Non-profit working to build $5 million soccer park in South Austin

BuildSoccer is partnering with The Marbridge Foundation to develop a six-field, lighted soccer park to serve Austin families.

AUSTIN, Texas — Thanks to a non-profit founded by a local soccer mom, a new six-park soccer field is on its way to South Austin.

BuildSoccer has signed a long-term lease and partnership with The Marbridge Foundation to create the lighted soccer park that will serve thousands of kids, families and special needs individuals throughout the Austin community.

Christie Ciccarello founded BuildSoccer to improve access to sports facilities for children in the Austin area. She said it all started when she became frustrated by the amount of time her children spent in the car instead of on the field or with family. So, she did some research and learned the city of Austin seems to be lacking in regard to youth sports facilities. 

"Field space in Austin has been an issue for a long time," said Ciccarello. 

Now, Marbrdige is strategically planning a living community for adults with special needs on the new Texas 45 Toll extension from MoPac – near the intersection of Brodie Lane and FM 1626. It sits on 200 acres, a portion of which will be leased to organizations like BuildSoccer to help "bridge the gap in funding from providing affordable tuition and the cost to provide quality care."

Ciccarello said she saw this as an opportunity to bring together Austinites, special needs adults and kids who want to play soccer close to their homes.

“The beauty of this place is once we get it built, every soccer player in Austin is going to be playing here no matter what club they play for. So this isn’t club exclusive," said Ciccarello, "You’re going to have games – whatever team you play for, we know that we’re gonna host games here and really serve the whole Austin community."

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According to Ciccarello, Austin doesn't currently maintain any lighted soccer parks. Between 5 Mile Dam Park in San Marcos and the new Round Rock Multipurpose Complex, she said there's a large stretch of open land where a major of the population lives without a proper soccer park.

“With all this great space I just knew we could do so much more with it," said Ciccarello.

“BuildSoccer was born out of a relationship I’ve fostered with The Marbridge Foundation,” said Ciccarello. “I approached Marbridge with the idea to bring our two communities together. My kids have been active at the STAR soccer complex in San Antonio (which was originally built by a non-profit that served the special needs community), so I have some background in this area. We have a huge fundraising task ahead of us, but I believe the community will support and root for this project.” 

BuildSoccer is actively looking for grants in addition to businesses and individuals in the community to support funding the $5 million park. There will be opportunities for sponsorship throughout the park, including naming rights to the park itself. More information about sponsorships can be found here.

BuildSoccer says they hope to offer a special olympics team to the Marbridge Foundation while using the space. 

The organization has already developed an agreement with local youth soccer club Capital City Soccer Club, which will be the largest user of the park. Other programs that will be supported include:

  • The future Marbridge Foundation Special Olympics soccer team
  • TOPSoccer program
  • After school care programs
  • Summer camps
  • Exposure to other sports such as 7v7 football, flag football, lacrosse, etc.
  • Community recreational soccer program
  • Community gathering place
  • Group exercise clubs

RELATED: Austin FC breaks ground on new MLS stadium

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