Oxford and Lafayette County boast a first-rate parks and recreation sports venue in FNC Park, but when the new Mississippi Flood Futbol Club opens south of Oxford this summer, local youths from throughout north Mississippi also will have an all competitive sports complex worthy of those found in much larger municipalities.
The soccer and football components of the 73-acre private facility are expected to be ready for tournament play in August, with completion of the baseball field slated for late fall or early spring of 2014, says MFFC developer Dr. Michael Perry.
Already, some three months before opening, Perry, an Oxford dentist, says players from Tupelo, Water Valley, Oxford, Batesville, Senatobia, Holly Springs, Grenada and Memphis are pre-registering on line to participate in the 12 to 15 tournaments, in addition to sports camps, that will take place there year-round.
“It’s going to be unique,” Perry says of the complex that will represent a one million dollar total investment when complete. “It will be north Mississippi’s only all competitive sports complex. Because we are solely competitive, we can pick the best of the best and attract recreational all stars to come and compete.”
In addition to soccer, football and baseball tournaments, the MFFC complex also will be home to competitive Lacrosse and softball events, making it a true multi-sports arena.
Along with the higher level of athletes that the complex is designed to attract, Perry said another factor distinguishing the Mississippi Flood Futbol Club from others in the state is the level of coaching.
“Most parks and recreations venues are dependent on parent coaches, and maybe some kids in college who are recreation graduates, but we have assembled the best coaching staff in Mississippi. Our coaches will have the highest licenses of any club in the state. Coaches can maximize their efforts when parents are trying to enhance the potential for their kids. The competitive approach brings out the best in coaches and athletes alike.”
One family in Memphis recently sold their house there and moved to Oxford to make it for more convenient for their child to participate in MFFC sports activities, Perry said.
The Oxford and Lafayette county community, too, stands to benefit from the new facility located at 578 Highway 7 South, approximately five miles from Oxford, Perry said.
“There are estimates that the local parks and recreation sports activities have a half-million-dollar economic impact with their tournaments, so with the 12-15 tournaments we are planning we anticipate that the MFFC can have an impact of one million dollars through increased traffic to restaurants and small businesses.”
Residents of Brandon, Mississippi, are considering a tourism tax to support the construction of a multi-sport complex similar to the one Perry is building in Oxford. In a recent interview in the Clarion Ledger newspaper, Brandon Mayor Butch Lee said a multi-field sports complex would function as an economic development tool to drive the need for more restaurants and retail options.
Parents interested in pre-registering their kids for MFFC tryouts can sign up by logging on to www.msfloodfc.com. –– Michael Harrelson, editor, HottyToddy.com.
Email Michael Harrelson at email@example.com