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Bethlehem Soccer Club to start fundraising soon

Sweeney said the club plans this fall to start Saturday games earlier and end them later, which should relax the traffic issues. That could also contribute to lessening the club's use of the town's Elm Avenue Park fields, also a goal for the club.

Along with the expansion of the parking area, the club plans to regrade the entire Soccerplex and rearrange the fields to accommodate the building. If it's built out as planned, it will eventually have three full-sized outdoor fields, one slightly smaller outdoor field and a full-size indoor field. That indoor space could be quartered using hanging nets.

A small wing of the building would house offices, restrooms and concession sales.

The indoor space wouldn't be restricted to club users, either. It's envisioned other adult and youth sports programs" perhaps lacrosse or field hockey " could rent out the space.

"We all have kids who play more than one sport," Sweeney said. "It's good for business aspects but it's also good for the community."

The Bethlehem Soccer Club is no stranger to the fiscal impacts of renting at such a facility. Its teams travel to Latham or Clifton Park to use indoor fields, at prices of $170 per hour (which is a discount). Those costs run $50,000 to $75,000 a year.

The club hopes to make enough off of rentals to cover operating costs and debt service for the money it will borrow to build the facility. Still, it hopes to keep rates low and keep the space in use as much as possible, and also avoid turning to members with a fee hike.

Plans have not yet been formally submitted to the town, but if things go well the club wants to have the field up and running by the fall of 2012 so it can be used that winter.

The Bethlehem Soccer Club will be having its yearly general meeting on March 10, which will be open to the public.""

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