Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos met with directors and members of the Long Island Soccer Football League (LISFL) and the Eastern New York State Adult Soccer Association (ENYSASA) at the Plattdeutch Park Restaurant in Franklin Square last Thursday night to attend their first meeting of 2012 and discuss the explosive growth of the sport in Nassau County. Addressing the possibility of working with industry organizations to one-day bringing professional soccer back to the County, incoming LISFL President Gus Xikis discussed possible grant opportunities that could be used to build or renovate an existing structure into a state-of-the-art soccer facility in Nassau County. The LISFL has already spent thousands of dollars on redeveloping fields on Long Island and New York City since its inception in the 1940’s, saving taxpayer dollars in turn for field playing time.
Xikis went on to point out that field fees at Mitchell Field were one of the major deciding factors in the County losing its last professional soccer team, the Long Island Rough Riders, to St. Anthony’s High School four years ago. He also stated that fees are only part of the problem; availability continues to be a superseding issue. If we have no fields for amateurs to play on, there are no permits to buy.
New York City and the Long Island area represent over 100,000 registered youth and adult soccer athletes. Some ideas that members discussed were the much-needed refurbishment of the County-owned Mitchel-Field stadium complex and surrounding area or unused land in Eisenhower Park. When addressing the crowd Comptroller Maragos stated that by working with organizations such as the LISFL and the ENYSASA, we have a great opportunity of bringing professional soccer back to Nassau, increasing revenue and making our County a better place to live and play.
Photo #4 l-r: Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos at the 2012 Kickoff Dinner for the Long Island Soccer Football League with LISFL 3rd VP Willie Dempsey, 2nd VP Carlo Bucich, 1st VP Terry Uellendahl, President Gus Xikis, Committee Chairman Gabriel Marques and Secretary Laurin Laderoute at the Plattdeutch on Jan. 26.