The City of East Ridge and the Chattanooga Futbol Club Academy (CFCA) recently agreed to a new five-year soccer field-use agreement for five fields at Camp Jordan Park.
The agreement allows CFCA to practice at Camp Jordan Park and play games there on fields 1-5. The East Ridge Futbol Club (ERFC) plays recreation soccer on fields 6-8 and often works with CFCA to use field 5 on Saturday mornings in the spring and fall for league play.
East Ridge Mayor Brent Lambert is happy that the city and CFCA remained in a partnership. CFCA has had a contract with East Ridge for two years that ends the final day of June in 2016.
“I’m very excited about our new agreement with the CFCA,” said Mayor Lambert. “The Academy has helped to improve the competition level of select soccer in our area, and we are pleased to partner in that effort.”
The mayor pointed out that I-75, Exit 1 is a special destination.
“Camp Jordan is a one-of-a-kind facility, and the continuation of this field usage agreement is further evidence that East Ridge is the premier spot for soccer in Hamilton County,” he said.
CFCA Executive Director Matt Yelton was excited that the city council approved the contract with a 4-1 vote.
“We are extremely pleased to extend our relationship with the City of East Ridge for the next five years and have Camp Jordan continue to be a vital part of the CFCA,” Yelton said. “The majority of our practices and games are played at the park and the city has been an excellent partner to our club. We look forward to a continued partnership with Camp Jordan Park and the City of East Ridge as we continue to try and build a select soccer club that everyone in the region can be proud of.”
The CFCA contract with East Ridge calls for the soccer organization to pay $40,000 to East Ridge over a 10 month period annually. In addition, CFCA will purchase $15,000 worth of needed equipment for the park each year. For the first three years of the contract, CFCA has agreed to purchase the parks and recreation department a new top-quality, zero-turn riding lawnmower each July.
East Ridge Parks and Recreation Director, Stump Martin, said CFCA and East Ridge have worked well together.
“This is a win, win for East Ridge and CFCA,” Martin said. “The city hired Yelton as our director of coaching in 2012 after he had won four national soccer championships at Lee University.
Dean Wilson, Jon Hooper and Yelton were all a part of the team that helped build a successful ERFC select program in a short time. They’re still a part of what we do on a daily basis. With CFCA practicing and playing at Camp Jordan we consider them to be our kids.”
Martin said he thought the city council made a good move for East Ridge by approving the soccer contract with a 4-1 vote last Thursday.
“Many of these CFCA kids are part of the more than the 1,500 who play indoor soccer at Camp Jordan Arena,” Martin said. “Some of their siblings also participate in the East Ridge spring and fall recreation soccer programs.
“I seriously doubt that there’s a community in our region that wouldn’t want our soccer situation,” Martin continued. “Sports drive dollars to the park and the city. Last weekend, with the Scenic City Cup bringing in more than 216 teams and a 36-team fastpitch tournament at Camp Jordan, hotel rooms in East Ridge and surrounding areas were hard to find. Ask our restaurant and hotel owners how much they like events at Camp Jordan.”
Martin said the council has been very supportive of the efforts from the parks and recreation in the time he’s been working for East Ridge. He said that the parks and recreation team received many compliments on the field conditions during the Scenic City Cup and the softball tournament.
“Our Team works hard and utilizes the funds from the contract to help make Camp Jordan a place where people near and far will want to come participate in the many different facets of fun and competition,” Martin said.
For more information on upcoming events at Camp Jordan go to EastRidgeParksandRec.com