Privately owned sports complex just south of Oxford to provide venue for volunteer coaches and athletes
By Jarred Senseman, junior journalism major, Meek School of Journalism and New Media
FNC Park won’t be Oxford’s sole sporting complex for long, according to entrepreneur Michael Perry.
Perry and Co-developer Chuck Trost decided to take matters into their own hands, or pockets in this case, when the Oxford Park Commission began requiring that only paid coaches be used for sports teams.
“When OPC decided they were going to require paid coaches instead of volunteer coaches, and our whole team wanted to continue with volunteer coaches, we decided we had to do something different,” Perry said.
Perry stated that the initial investments for construction of the new Mississippi Flood Futbol Club were coming in at between 1 and 1.5 million dollars.
“We’re basically going to do what we can afford to do at each stage,” he said. “We think there’s money to be made with this, but that’s not our goal. Our goal is to provide a competitive alternative environment for recreational sports.”
“If there’s money to be made then that’s great, but if not, that’s ok too.”
The Lafayette County Planning Comission seems to be on board with the idea as well, having recently approved the location of the site off of Highway 7. Perry believes that the complex may even bring in some much-needed revenue for the city.
“Currently, the kids in Oxford that want to play competitive sports, many of them go to Memphis or to Tupelo. Our goal is to have those kids stay here, and if anything, recruit other kids to the Oxford area rather than have the Oxford talent go other places,” Perry said.
“There’s some estimates that say tournaments can bring at least $250,000 dollars to small businesses in Oxford. I think that’s a reasonable benefit that the Oxford/Lafayette area will get from this park.”
Perry said he expects to break ground for the new sports complex in March, with a completion date set for early July.