A black eye, bloody nose and a fat lip

SportsQuest, a sports complex located on Genito Road consisting of nine artificial turf soccer fields, some unfinished fields and a lot of dirt, has had image problems in the past, but last week the perceptions became reality.

It was reported last week, thatSportsQuest had a lien filed at the end of January of almost $500,000 by a contractor owed for excavation at the site; by midweek Virginia Commonwealth’s Attorney Ken Cuccinelli, filed a civil suit against the facility for allegedly violating Virginia Code related to selling 700 memberships for a planned fitness center which has yet to be built.

And then on Friday, Steve Burton, SportsQuest founder, wrote on the SportsQuest website that the facility would split allowing “separate acquisitions of two of the businesses: the Academy and Membership.”Construction has stalled on the project.

But some supervisors are cautiously optimistic.

“I am concerned, however, the entity is a private one wherein we have an agreement,” said Jim Holland, Dale district supervisor. “I am hopeful that the project will succeed and achieve its potential.”

SportsQuest has been successful in organizing tournaments such as the Capitol Cup Lacrosse Tournament, the Sports Academy and a number of soccer tournaments.

“Our efforts to date have brought millions in sports tourism and construction work to our community,” wrote Burton on his website. “We remain dedicated to carrying forward the process to maximize the value brought to our community.”

Matoaca District Supervisor Steve Elswick, who is serving his first term on the board, reminds citizens that the county is safe in its investment but wants to make sure that the public is informed on the specifics of the lease agreement with SportsQuest.

“I hope SportsQuest can find additional investors to continue with its build out,” Elswick wrote in an email. “I have been advised by county officials that the county is protected with our lease on the soccer fields, and we will be able to continue using them unless we opt to let someone buy us out of our lease.  I want the county to publish clearly and concisely what the 20 year lease provides and what will and/or can happen if the developer is no longer able to complete the project.”

The agreement between Chesterfield County and SportsQuest commits the county to paying SportsQuest $4.3 million over 20 years, with $2.3 million up front out of the county’s parks and recreation budget. The lease agreement was approved by Chesterfield’s board of supervisors on May 26, 2009. Dan Gecker, Midlothian district supervisor and current board chairman, said during the 2009 meeting that Chesterfield made a significant contribution to the partnership with SportsQuest, but it has the potential to add more than $6 million annually in local tax revenue and create hundreds of jobs when completed.


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