Several hundred kids are looking for a new place to play soccer in Mount Juliet.
The Central Tennessee Soccer League says they have been asked to leave the fields they currently use because the owner is selling the property.
The league has been using the private property on Sullivan Bend Road for about eight years. After next Saturday, they plan to pack up their stuff and put it in storage until they find somewhere else to call home.
CTS Director Helmut Liess says they are determined to find a new spot.
“We are going to find something,” Leiss told News 2. “We are going to knock on doors and hunt down people — I don’t know, whatever it takes.”
Leiss says the non-profit recreation league has been in Mt Juliet since 1996.
“It creates sportsmanship, togetherness — being on a team is so important, we learn so many things within the team,” he said.
According to Leiss, the program is vital to the 700 kids they host each year.
“It’s like a family,” he said.
A family made up of 28 teams, with players ranging in age from four to 18 years old. Many of the kids have grown up in the league. At the same time, the Nashville suburb is growing rapidly, too.
“That’s our struggle,” Leiss explained. “Mount Juliet has grown so much, finding new fields now — first of all, finding something that’s level where we can pretty much [do] minimal work — has been tough.”
Liess said the main issue for the non-profit league is affordability.
“To be affordable, we would have to move to [the] Lebanon/Watertown area to purchase something — but really we are a Mount Juliet league,” he said. “Mount Juliet is our home, and we want to stay in this area.”
According to Leiss, the owner is selling the property for $7.8 million. The league was told a few weeks ago that they would have to leave.
“I think this is a total of like, 60 acres, so could be a lot of houses,” he said.
While the rapid growth of Mount Juliet is likely what ultimately pushed out the league, Liess said they are confident it is also what will keep them alive. More homes in the area mean more families with kids who love to play soccer.
“We have so many people moving to Mount Juliet, so many people doing business in Mt Juliet, we need to have room for some soccer,” Leiss said. “We are not just going to close up shop and say, ‘it was nice while we have it.’ I think Mt Juliet is big enough to support it.”
The league did have a soccer camp planned this summer they were forced to cancel. Leiss also said they opted not to open registration for the fall season since they don’t have a place to practice or host games.
Ideally, he says the league needs to find between 12-15 acres of land.
The league points out that they have been able to use the current property much longer than they expected.