Quality of life bond could bring new soccer fields for players to show skills

POSTED: 03:28 PM MDT Oct 24, 2012    UPDATED: 12:16 PM MST Mar 07, 2014 
EL PASO, Texas -

The distant sound of the ice-cream truck and coaches' whistles fill the air at a busy far East El Paso park.

Young athletes run and reign these grounds.

"I could show who I really am on the field," soccer player Maira Martinez said. "It's like a passion when you're with your teammates. It's like a second family.

But Martinez and her second family are practicing on tough land.

"You can actually get hurt," she said. "You can see, my cleats are all messed up and you can see a lot of girls, they're falling. There's holes. Not like miniature holes, there's huge holes where your foot goes in and you fall automatically on your face and there's a lot of mud, a lot of mud. It's horrible."

On Election Day, $5 million of the $473 million quality of life bond would go toward soccer fields if passed.

"We, pretty much as terms of endearment, call it the Dirt Field or the Sandlot or the Sticker Field," coach James Mendoza said.

Mendoza said the 10,000 registered soccer players are always struggling for space.

Parents said it is a common occurrence at these parks to have different groups vying for the same amount of space.

In one area you have pee-wee football practice taking up a large part of the park with all of the lights and then walk just a few feet away and it gets darker and the field gets a little smaller. This little side pocket of the park is where they practice soccer.

Martinez just wants a place she can show what she's made of.

"It'll help me show off what I really have and I don't have to be thinking 'ugh, am I going to get hurt again?'" Martinez said. "I just want to play me heart out and give everything I got at least for once if I have a perfect field."

A field that tax-payers will decide if Martinez gets.

The bond includes new soccer fields throughout the city and one new championship field facility to be used for tournaments and other sports, such as field hockey and rugby.

The bond will cost the average homeowner about $40 a year.

(Oct. 2012 story)