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Fairgrounds, soccer club split parking lot proceeds for recent fireworks shows

Spectators watch the Pyrotechnics Guild International fireworks display at dusk from the grounds of the Scheels Soccer Complex in West Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

WEST FARGO — When fireworks watchers flocked to a large parking lot and park east of the Red River Valley Fairground here last week to take in nightly shows put on by the Pyrotechnics Guild International convention, some were surprised when asked to pay $10 to access the lot.

Why would it cost to park at a public park, they asked?

Turns out the Scheels Soccer Complex on 13th Avenue West is not a public park—at least not yet.

The Red River Valley Fair Association owns the land and the West Fargo Park District is making payments to buy it.

Last week during the fireworks shows, the West Fargo Soccer Club had workers monitoring and charging people to park there. The soccer club and fair association then split the proceeds, which were not immediately known.

"We paid a large amount to bring in the pyrotechnics, and this was a way to offset the cost," said fair general manager Bryan Schulz.

The fair association is selling the soccer complex to the park district for $765,000. The contract was signed in 2010, the first payment was in 2011 and the payments will be finished in 2021.

West Fargo Parks and Recreation executive director Barb Erbstoesser said there is "a positive partnership between the three entities."

Schulz said the park district has made use of the soccer complex for years and allowing it to buy the facility made sense.

"We were looking at possibly selling and the park district said they were willing to buy," Schulz said. "We thought it was the best of both worlds."

Colton Pool

Pool is a reporter for The West Fargo Pioneer covering city sports and community news. He was the sports editor for The Dickinson Press covering Dickinson State athletics, high school athletics and Southwest Speedway. He graduated from North Dakota State with a degree in journalism and a minor in English. You can reach him by phone at 701-451-5715 or tweet him @CPoolReporter. 

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