Alameda City Council members, looking for ways to improve the city's finances, have said they want to revisit leasing city sports fields to outside youth sports organizations.
The Piedmont Youth Soccer Club has leased practice field space at Alameda Point (the old Alameda Naval Air Station) from the City of Alameda since 1997 to supplement available practice space in Piedmont, investing what Alameda officials call "a lot of money" into maintaining the field space.
The current lease expires in October, and Alameda officials told PYSC months ago that the lease would not be renewed because the space was needed for Alameda youth sports. (Alameda did agree to month-to-month rental through the end of the fall 2012 soccer season.)
Roughly half of the Piedmont soccer club's practices take place in Alameda, and the loss of that space was among the arguments offered in favor of building soccer fields in Piedmont's Blair Park, a proposal that was ultimately rejected by the Piedmont City Council on May 7.
Now Alameda has, perhaps, opened the door to continued use of Alameda space by Piedmont youth soccer players.
The Alameda council met June 12 to review options for the municipal budget and capital improvements after voters defeated a proposed half-cent sales tax increase in the June 5 primary election.
The tax initiative, Measure C, needed a two-thirds majority to pass; it received only 50.39 percent of the votes. It was designed to pay for for a new 50-meter swimming pool, a lighted multi-purpose sports field, and several police and fire department projects, including a new fire station.
At their June 12 meeting, Alameda council members said they want to look at a range of options for cutting city expenses and increasing income, including once again leasing space to outside youth sports groups.
Alameda Mayor Marie Gilmore also asked city staff to explore a public/private partnership to build an all-weather sports field that could be used for soccer, baseball, lacrosse and football.