New sports complex presents athletic options for students and Oxford residents.
A privately owned and operated sports complex is coming closer to being built after the Lafayette County Planning Commission approved a location off Highway 7 South last week.
Property owners Chuck Trost and Michael Perry, who are awaiting the commission’s approval of their final plan, are currently waiting to receive a Mississippi Highway Department of Transportation construction permit along with approval from the Health Department for their plans to handle sewage.
The proposed complex will include six international regulation soccer fields, practice fields and a Little League football field. Baseball and lacrosse fields are also possible additions.
Although the complex’s target market is youth teams in the Oxford area, professor and certified health education specialist Jeffrey Hallam said he believes some University of Mississippi students will take advantage of the new complex.
“I do not believe the new facility is a threat to the Turner Center,” Hallam said. “I do not believe the intramural program will experience any decrease in participation. However, students may be attracted to the lacrosse fields and soccer fields.”
Hallam also said, though, that he thinks the students who will use the new complex will be few in number.
“UM students can use the intramural fields for their activities,” Hallam said. “While I believe the intramural fields are insufficient for the size of the university, I do not believe many students will opt to use the new complex.”
Lacrosse player Nick Loverde expressed interest in the potential building of a lacrosse field, citing poor conditions of the university’s fields as the main reason.
“If it’s nice field turf, then we would absolutely prefer that over the school fields,” said Nick Loverde, a senior economics major and four-year member of the lacrosse team. “The school fields are just a mess. They spend so much money to repair them, but they are never 100 percent.”