The Wichita Falls City Council voted 6 to 1 to spend $92,000 on an artificial turf field system. The field would be used and installed in the Multi-Purpose Event Center's Kay Yeager Coliseum for community use. The idea would be to start and indoor summer soccer league.
"In the summer time we're traditionally a very slow period in the coliseum. This will allow us to be able to put down and be able to do indoor soccer tournaments for a wide variety of age groups," said Robert Sullivan, Executive Director for the MPEC.
Councilmen Ben Hoover questioned Sullivan over the type of turf the City would be buying. There was one other bidder on the project asking for nearly $70,000 dollars more for different turf. Sullivan explained that turf was taller and thicker.
"We're looking for something that could be used for a variety of different events. This turf just rolls up. There is velcro on each end and it velcros down to form one solid piece," said Sullivan.
In the long run Sullivan said the turf could play a big part in bringing in an arena football team. Many of the councilmen asked to physically hold and feel the turf. District 5 Councilman Tom Quintero tested the small sample out himself by walking on it.
"How many arena football leagues are actually using that carpet that say that's the one to use?" asked Councilman Quintero.
Sullivan said he had contacted six of the seven teams that use the same exact turf. Many of the teams were sharing the turf with indoor soccer teams. Sullivan said that by using a shorter turf, it would make the MPEC more appealing for other sports to come in.
"They all gave very good reports of it going down, smoothly picking it up, they have not had any complaints from the teams that are utilizing it," said Sullivan.
There are no current plans for an arena football team to come to Wichita Falls. Sullivan said that he has talked with arena football officials about getting a team to this area. Tom Qunitero was the only councilmen who voted no on the turf.