Dear Editor,

I am writing to you today as a citizen of Floyd County and as a parent of two children who play soccer at SSA North Georgia (previously North Georgia United). Our league (SSA NGA) has rented its facilities at North Floyd Park from Rome Floyd Parks & Rec for the past six years. It is my understanding, however, that this year, RFPRA has opened the bidding process on the lease at the behest of, and for the benefit of, YMCA Arsenal Soccer.

YMCA soccer has a huge soccer complex at Grizzard Park. Our facility is very small, and I cannot see any benefit that leasing this facility would provide to Arsenal other than to displace our league, thereby eliminating its only competition. Not only would that be a direct disservice to the children who play in the league, but it would have a financial impact on the county by eliminating the incoming travel teams and their families who spend money when they travel to our club at our stores and restaurants and even hotels. As a citizen, I am not eager to see those dollars leave the local economy.

We have always been a small club, and we have always known that the YMCA has had advantages over us due to their size and their long-standing existence as the sole option for soccer in this community. Yet still, we have grown by word-of-mouth because of the quality of our coaching that is evident when our kids take the field. Throughout the years, though, we have felt overshadowed and browbeaten by the YMCA.

As a citizen of Floyd County, a parent and a voter, I am asking the county commissioners to intervene on our behalf and not allow for the YMCA to effectively achieve a monopoly on youth soccer in this area. It isn't good for the economy, it isn't good for the community, it isn't good for the sport and it isn't good for the kids.