Central Illinois Officials Debate Airport-Owned Soccer Field

Mar 20, 2017

Airport officials say an agreement allowing a central Illinois youth soccer league to use airport-owned fields is likely a short-term deal due to concerns about safety and federal guidelines.  The Central Illinois Regional Airport has a lease with Prairie Cities Soccer League that runs through the end of the year. 

However, the area airport's board of commissioners says their guidance from the Federal Aviation Administration indicates the fields are a safety hazard. Airport officials worry that they could risk penalties if the agreement is extended. 

Local soccer groups are pushing for a new $16 million recreational complex to replace the fields, though it's unclear where the money would come from to pay for it.  The league has roughly 3,000 soccer players.