Libertyville leases sports complex for winter youth soccer
Soccer is planned as the first organized indoor activity at the cavernous Libertyville Sports Complex since it closed to the public March 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Village officials this week approved a lease with the Greater Libertyville Soccer Association to use a portion of the building privately for winter youth soccer activities.
Five pages of "Return to Play" COVID-related safety protocols and responsibilities are part of the lease. The term is $65,000 per month from Jan. 1 to March 31 for a total of $195,000.
Competitive team training and recreational programming will occur, but no tournaments will be held. Access will be restricted to staff members and players participating in workouts and training sessions, although one parent or guardian per player will be allowed inside to watch should games be played.
Capacity will be limited to 20% of the facility maximum, or 480 people, on the first floor.
The 169,000-square-foot indoor sports facility has two full-sized indoor soccer fields, multiple indoor courts, a climbing wall, a fitness area and other features.
Reopening the complex to the public remains challenging because of its multipurpose nature and varying COVID-19 safety standards, according to the village.
The soccer group normally rents the complex for winter indoor training but approached the village about a lease in early July, when it thought there was a possibility the facility could be closed over the winter, according to Michael Zovistoski, executive director.
The group is required to regularly sanitize the premises per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state health department guidelines. It also must follow various protocols including verified temperature checks, social distancing and other measures.
Everyone at the village has been "extremely responsive," Zovistoski said.
"The club has done a very good job mitigating the transmission of the virus, and we are thankful that we are able to provide soccer programming to the community," he said.
Players and others will use a QR code on their phones to log attendance and must answer seven questions to access the building. Attendance will be taken by soccer officials for contact tracing purposes should a COVID-case occur.
According to the lease, the soccer association assumes all risks and waives claims against the village for "any injury, illness, death or monetary loss related in any way to COVID-19," according to the safety rider.
Either party can terminate the lease if a public health order preventing use of the facility is issued.
Allowed hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. No access is permitted on Fridays and Sundays.
The indoor sports facility is the main component of the Libertyville Sports Complex at Route 45 and Peterson Road. Once soccer starts, it will the only portion of the sports complex that's operational.
A golf learning center/driving range closed in late 2018, and the lease for Aloha Falls mini-golf course ended in September.
Those operations ended in advance of a pending $5.4 million sale for development of a business park and commercial area.