Rezoning for national soccer headquarters gets approval from Fayette Commission


After hearings lasting nearly three hours, the Fayette County Commission Thursday night, Jan. 11, approved the four A-R rezoning requests that will start the soccer ball rolling.

All four commissioners present voted for the zoning change from mostly residential to Agricultural-Residential, which allows recreational uses. The change will allow the U.S. Soccer Federation to move its headquarters and national training center to a 300-plus acres site in central Fayette County, just above Trilith.

Multiple residents expressed concerns about the lack of solid plans for exactly what’s going to be built on the site. Most said they favored the idea of the project but criticized the soccer group for the lack of transparency in letting people know what they wanted and where on the property.

One resident asked the commissioners, “Are you being kept in the dark on purpose?”

Commissioner Eric Maxwell said his yes-vote was “a leap of faith” in giving the go-ahead to a project that “is going to be good for Fayette County.”

The likely next step will be made by the city of Fayetteville. One of the soccer group’s requirements is access to a public sewer, and Fayetteville is ready to supply that need. That means the city likely will annex that entire tract into Fayetteville sometime later this year, further extending the city limit lines as well as the city sewer lines.

Voting for the projected $228 million development were Maxwell, commissioners Charles Oddo and Charles Rousseau and Chairman Lee Hearn. Commissioner Edward “Edge” Gibbons was absent.

The facility will serve as the national center for the training and competition of all 27 of U.S. Soccer’s Men’s, Women’s, Youth, and Extended National Teams; the development of youth players; coaching and referee training; and will help drive the overall growth of soccer’s popularity in the United States. The soccer group anticipates breaking ground on the site this spring, probably by April of this year.


  1. The article clearly stated that the soccer federation did not provide any concrete plans and some folks at the meeting felt there was a lack of transparency. I see nothing wrong with telling the federation that the city needs more information before making a decision. Sorry, but I don’t have faith in Maxwell’s faith in his decision that was unsupported by facts.

    • yes, there has to be a component of faith. You can have historic data, anecdotal evidence, and more to help shape the decision but when it comes to it, there needs to be some faith or hope. No one can tell the future, so no one KNOWS what might or might not happen. Based on what data was presented, he willing to put his faith into the next steps.