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  • Writer's pictureDubuque Soccer Alliance

Dubuque Soccer Alliance - STATUS UPDATE - April 12, 2023

For Immediate Release

April 12, 2023

Upon the Dubuque Community School District’s awarding of the Dubuque Soccer Complex land to CourtONE, LLC the Dubuque Soccer Alliance (DSA) has continued open dialogue with CourtONE in order to investigate the feasibility and long term success we could, or could not, have alongside Mark Dyer and his partners. As opposing bids for the land, we sat across the table from CourtONE. We’ve spent months now on the same side of the table, working towards a lease that serves our mission and vision – to build a soccer community through maintaining quality facilities, while also engaging players and families in their love for soccer.

“Over the course of these conversations, CourtONE has shown a willingness to engage the Dubuque Soccer Alliance in a meaningful conversation about what a strong lease looks like and what a partnership with them could mean,” said Alliance President Jon Denham. “They’ve committed to us, and others they’ve spoken to, a significant investment in the youth sports landscape of Dubuque, and I believe they will deliver on those commitments.”

“Our relative silence at the DSA level in recent months hasn’t been because we’re aimlessly hoping something comes together,” Denham adds. “Our collective board of user groups and independent soccer volunteers have spent hundreds of hours together with each other, as well as in conversations with the soon-to-be owners of the Dubuque Soccer Complex land. We’ve also checked in with the City of Dubuque to keep those lines of communication open.”

Multiple versions of the lease agreement have been viewed since the beginning of 2023. Items of concern have been addressed and negotiated appropriately, all while using the mission and vision of our organization to reach a conclusion that best serves us - the DSA families and local soccer community.

Early versions of our document sharing were a starting point, not a landing spot. Any insinuation that the earliest exchange of ideas and plans and outlines were an immediate reason to cut off communication between our Alliance and CourtONE is out of line. Any insinuation that CourtONE’s status as a for-profit organization was an automatic disqualification for us to negotiate with them in good faith is irresponsible and does not allow our board to do their due diligence as our existing lease reaches its expiration.

The highlights of the lease in front of us now includes, but is not limited to:

  1. A 25-year lease at a rate of $1 per year, with a clause granting the Dubuque Soccer Alliance a right of first refusal to purchase the land.

  2. The Dubuque Soccer Alliance will operate and maintain the Dubuque Soccer Complex.

  3. The Dubuque Soccer Alliance will manage the scheduling and usage of the property, in conjunction with the landlord. This will include the use of the land as a cross country course and allow DSA user groups top priority in field space, while also allowing the Dubuque Community School District access to the space under a clearly defined Request/Approval/Access process.

  4. Both CourtONE and the Dubuque Soccer Alliance acknowledge a mutual interest in investing in the space via cash, fundraising, grants, and any other means deemed mutually beneficial. The DSA is protected in a real and legally binding way in the event any investment the DSA makes needs to be amortized.

  5. The expected tax implications to the Dubuque Soccer Alliance, on an annual basis, as a 501C3 non-profit organization managing and operating the facility, is $0.

The goal of the Dubuque Soccer Alliance is to finalize the details of this lease in the very near future.

“We are very, very close to an agreement that I believe will serve us well for a very long time,” Denham notes. “There is a very real possibility that this new lease will in fact be better than the arrangement we have held near and dear to our organization over the last 30 years. I do not take decisions of this magnitude lightly. Under my leadership this organization will always strive to be the best possible version of itself. Diversity of thought is always welcome when I am in charge. Another expectation I have of our organization is that our user groups and board members bring the best versions of themselves to the table in the name of our mission and vision. The Dubuque Soccer Alliance has a proven track record of good partnership with our landlord, and we intend to keep it that way.”

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