Soccer club re-signs 20-year lease with Lake Sammamish State Park

August 4, 2009

By Angelo Grosso

The Issaquah Soccer Club has re-signed a 20-year lease with Lake Sammamish State Park. The lease will allow the club to use all nine of the soccer fields there.“The club helps the city through sponsoring the state parks,” said Ed Evans, Issaquah Soccer Club vice president of operations. “It gives the kids a place to play.”

Not only does the lease give the club the right to use the fields, but it also means that the group can maintain the fields through its own developing methods. This has made the relationship between the two sides very appealing.

“It’s absolutely awesome,” Evans said. “To us, they’re partners. We help them and they help us.”

Rangers from the park agree.

“The relationship has been really good,” Ranger Rich Benson said. “There has never been a lot of friction. It’s been a team effort to give the city the best results.”

Maintaining the parks themselves gives the people of Issaquah the best ability to enjoy the parks, club members said.

“We do everything to the parks so that they are open to the public,” Evans said. “They have all the land. The park rangers and us work very smoothly. Everybody’s on the right track.”

Of course the club has a preference for the parks to be used for soccer and there is a tournament coming up Aug. 21-23. It is the 13th Issaquah Kick-Off Tournament and every year is particularly special to the club, because the tournament is dedicated to longtime Issaquah Soccer Club member Peter Lechner, who died unexpectedly in summer 2005.

The three-day tournament roughly has 3,000 players, from kindergarten to high school, participating. It has three clear objectives.

“The first is for the kids to have fun,” Evans said. “The second is to develop skills through time and practice. And lastly, it’s a great chance to see how, over time, the teams have grown and change for the better.”

And because of the re-signing, these types of events are going to be around for quite a while.

“Both groups are committed to working together for a long time,” Benson said. “It’s a win-win.”

The cost of the new lease is $35,000 a year with inflation increasing annually.

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