Setting the Record Straight: BYSC releases a statement

Sherwood domes

Who owns the domes; who operates them, who pays for them. BYSC wants to sets the record straight.

sportsred 100x100By Staff

November 10, 2017


Disputes over the use of the Domes at Sherwood Forest Park are not new.

A group of soccer player who organized themselves into a consortium complained recently about the way they felt they were treated by the Burlington Youth Soccer Club (BYSC).

A link to that complaint appears at the bottom of this news story.

The BYSC wants to set the record straight and have released the following statement.

Unfortunately some adult soccer leagues, including Burlington Soccer League (BSL) and Burlington Women’s Recreational Soccer League (BWRSL), jointly calling themselves the “Burlington Soccer

Consortium” have chosen to spread misinformation about Burlington Youth Soccer Club programs and it’s Joint Venture Agreement with the City of Burlington for the Domes at Sherwood Forest Park.

The BYSC would like to ensure proper information and facts are being reported and distributed.

The BYSC is sanctioned as both an Adult and Youth club within Ontario Soccer and has been operating Adult programs at the U21 and Senior levels for decades.

As part of its Strategic Plan for 2017-2021, BYSC has committed to expand outdoor and indoor programs to create lifelong opportunities for players. This began with the launch of Lil Burli for toddlers, Embracing Ability (a program in partnership with Special Olympics Ontario, for players with and/or without intellectual and/or physical disabilities) and Walking Soccer for players 50+ and/or those with mobility issues.

This fall we have expanded our House League + and technically managed teams for youth. In the 2017 Summer Outdoor Season, we added an Adult Coed Open Age league to our program choices. This fall we launched our Adult Indoor Leagues and have 44 teams registered and participating. Offering these programs as part of the BYSC Strategic Plan aligns with the City’s Strategic Plan and its Active Aging Plan to create environments to encourage people of all ages and abilities to pursue lifelong physical activity and remain socially active.

The Domes in Sherwood Forest Park are paid for and operated by the BYSC at the BYSC’s expense. All capital expenditures, maintenance and operations are paid for by the BYSC with no money from taxpayers. We are also required by our Joint Venture Agreement with the City to set aside funds annually for a capital replacement fund. To date, the BYSC has paid more than $5 million to operate and cover the capital costs of the Domes.

To give perspective, here is a breakdown of the expenses incurred by the BYSC to maintain and operate the Domes in 2017 alone:

• $130,000 (lighting changes in all 3 Domes to LED to be more energy efficient “green”)
• $165,000 (replace mechanical unit, HVAC, and airlock for Dome 1)
• $120,000 (annual costs for set-up, removal, storage)
• $40,000 (annual costs for hydro)
• $65,000 (annual costs for gas heating)
• $15,000 (general repairs and maintenance)
• Total $535,000

In 2018 the BYSC will be funding 7/12 of the turf replacement under Domes 2 and 3, as part of our Joint Venture agreement with the City, which is estimated to cost the BYSC $500,000.

As the BYSC pays for and operates all three Domes seven months of the year that they are up, the BYSC has exclusive use of the Domes through its Joint Venture agreement and prioritizes its own programs and activities in the Domes.

BYSC may choose to make the remaining hours available to third parties as we have done in the past. We have expanded our programs on both the youth and adult side, thus we have fewer hours available to be rented. In some cases, this has meant adjusting the time slots offered to renters.

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3 comments to Setting the Record Straight: BYSC releases a statement

  • Valid comments Dayna. Your concerns would have been addressed if the second page of the statement was also uploaded. An honest oversight by the Gazzette Publisher. Please see the remaining three paragraphs that were omitted from the above article:

    “The BYSC and leadership of the Burlington Soccer League, part of the “Burlington Soccer Consortium,” met on several occasions over the past year (2017) to discuss the fact that BYSC was going to be expanding its adult programming, and seeking possible ways to work more closely together in adult soccer. Subsequent to these meetings, the BSL released its “Future Strategy Planning” document to its membership in March 2017, in which it stated that it did not wish to partner with BYSC. In the document, BSL states that it is aware that BYSC is planning expanded adult soccer programming.

    It’s important to note that the BYSC has provided preferred pricing and, when needed by other not for profit Burlington soccer organizations, preferential financing terms on Dome rentals at no additional cost.

    This year, as in past years, the BYSC approached members of the “Burlington Soccer Consortium”, with the first option to rent the dome times that were not being utilized by BYSC programs. Even though the BYSC did not offer the exact rental time slots requested in all cases, these groups were offered at least as many hours as requested, if not more. These groups chose not to enter rental agreements based with BYSC. Currently there are four adult soccer groups renting time from BYSC, as are other Burlington sport groups.
    The BYSC is committed to offering lifelong opportunities to enjoy the game of soccer to the entire Burlington community. The statements by members of the “Burlington Soccer Consortium” are false and their tactics are creating a “hostile and uncooperative” attitude. The BYSC has always made great efforts to be inclusive, as exemplified by our current dome renters that include many Burlington-based sport organizations in Field hockey, Baseball, Rugby, Football, Ultimate Frisbee, Lacrosse, Softball, and other Soccer groups.

    BYSC has seen a gap in playing opportunities once players have previously “aged out” of what has been offered at the BYSC. Additionally we want to continue to engage with our members throughout their lifetimes and offer parents the chance to enjoy the Beautiful Game of soccer as their kids do. There are a number of Adult Leagues in the community serving their members and we expect they will continue to do so. We believe that more opportunities for people to stay active and play soccer is better for everyone!
    The BYSC has been successfully serving the Burlington community since 1962, and we will continue to do so for many more decades to come.”

  • Ed

    This move by the BYSC is about money. By forcing the adult leagues out, they have created a monopoly on soccer.

    Did the BYSC really have to be so hard handed with the adult leqgues?

    • Dayna

      Yeah, the impression I get from this (as an outsider) is that the BYSC wants a monopoly and chose to expand their offerings to adults/others instead of working in conjunction with the already-established soccer clubs. Seems mismanaged.

      The whole write-up fails to address the issues brought up by the other soccer clubs, which was that they had contributed funds to the initial construction of the building(s) and had contributed money to the maintenance of the domes since. BYSC stating its expenses doesn’t really address whether or not they’ve previously received funding/contributions from these clubs, which they are now choosing to lock out.

      This whole thing sounds like it was poorly organized and disrespectfully done. If established soccer clubs have been working together for years and sharing a space regularly, and the BYSC wants to change that, then the BYSC has an obligation to give appropriate notice (1 year+ in my opinion) to these clubs that the times available to them will be changing and they’ll need to find other places to play/practice.

      If the BYSC’s statement made it clear that they’d given proper notice to these clubs who then chose to disregard it, that’s another matter entirely. But their defense doesn’t really hold up, from an outside perspective.

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