TEGA CAY, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – A group of Tega Cay parents have voiced concern over a partnership they believe is hurting area soccer players. These parents say an agreement between the City of Tega Cay and the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club is making it harder for outside players to find field space.
Jeff Beauchamp, the director of Fort Mill United Football Club‘s boys division, has heard from some of those parents and says their concerns stem from a partnership created between Tega Cay and the Charlotte Independence Soccer Club in 2022.
Beauchamp says this partnership locks his club team and others out of the soccer fields at Catawba Park and Turner Field, which has caused his athletes to cross county lines just for practice, finding available fields in Lancaster County.
One Tega Cay mother who wished to stay anonymous, says her kids have faced similar effects with their club team, being told by Tega Cay City officials she could not rent field space as it would be in competition with Charlotte Independence.
“So we’re driving past empty fields that we are paying taxes on, taking our 7th grade daughters to Indian Land to play,” the mother said. “They were not getting home until 10:30 at night, and then going to school the next day. Any pediatrician will of course tell you that’s not a good idea.”
That’s just one of the issues this mother has seen, saying the partnership also allows Charlotte Independence to run Tega Cay’s recreational Soccer program. She feels the dynamics of the City’s recreational league have changed with less less of a focus on the fun of the game.
As for Beauchamp, he says he’ll continue to seek playing space for his athletes, but does hope to see Tega Cay open it’s soccer fields to all.
“I think there’s fair equity in these fields, that they can share a field twice a night,” Beauchamp said.
Our cameras did reach out to the City of Tega Cay for an interview, but instead City officials told us to request a copy of the official agreement and did not do an interview.
The statement read, “The City of Tega Cay and Charlotte Independence Soccer Club have had a longstanding partnership of over 7 years. Our current agreement is an expansion of the existing partnership between the two entities which became viable with the addition of Catawba Park. Expanding our partnership provides opportunities for growth and allows for the enhancement of the City’s recreation soccer program using the resources of a professional soccer organization. We remain committed to providing an exceptional recreational soccer experience to our participants.”
The official agreement document contains a 10 page contract with only two signatures written, one from the Tega Cay City Manager and the CEO from Charlotte Independence.
The five year contractstates the partnership will come to an end in November of 2027 and Charlotte Independence will pay the City just more than a million dollars over that time.
The contract also shows that Charlotte Independence is responsible for maintaining the fields, the soccer club also covers insurance costs and handles scheduling.
CN2 reporters also reached out to Charlotte Independence, who responded with a copy of the press release that went out when the partnership was initially formed.
Those parents who are upset by the agreement have organized through a private Facebook group which can be found by searching Tega Cay Soccer Field Concerns. These parents say they plan to bring their concerns to city council.
The City of Tega Cay says it remains committed to providing an exceptional recreational soccer experience to its participants.