As of last week, Oneonta’s Wright National Soccer Campus is under new management, an organizer said Tuesday.
Brian Gillette, president of the Oneonta Soccer Club, said the club signed a one-year contract last week to temporarily manage, maintain and operate the fields at the campus, located on the former site of the National Soccer Hall of Fame and Museum.
Gillette said he is excited to take on the management of the campus. Under the agreement, the club, which is a nonprofit organization, will be responsible for maintaining the four fields, booking events, collecting fees and paying bills.
The Wright National Soccer Campus hosts games and practices for many different soccer teams, including the Tri-Valley League, Oneonta High School, SUNY Oneonta and various traveling teams, Gillette said.
Tom DeLaurentiis, secretary of the Section IV Athletic Council, said the Wright complex is one of the few in the state to have four “top-notch” grass soccer fields in a confined area.
“When Section IV hosts sectional, regional and state championship schools, players, coaches and fans feel it is an honor and privilege to play on these fields. In addition, numerous dollars are brought into our area at a time when tourism is not at its peak.”
State Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, sent a letter to Gillette, offering his full support for the Oneonta Soccer Club’s efforts and stating that out-of-town travelers to the fields boost the local economy.
“It makes sense that the care of the soccer fields fall under the supervision of an organization with a vested interest in maintaining the high standards needed for competition and the future viability of the complex,” Seward wrote. “The Oneonta Soccer Club will provide the best future for the Wright National Soccer Campus and the included soccer fields.”