Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to reflect that Airport Park is owned by the Wausau Downtown Airport and has agreements with the FAA regarding its use. Wausau Pilot and Review regrets the error.

By Shereen Siewert

A local soccer club will have to go back to the drawing board to find a new location for expanded soccer fields in Wausau.

On Monday, MC United unveiled a $3.25 million sports field development proposed for Wausau’s Airport Park. But parks officials say the land is actually owned by the Wausau Downtown Airport, which has agreements with the Federal Aviation Authority regarding the land’s use.

Dist. 1 Alderman Pat Peckham said the FAA wants to keep expansion plans open. The chance that the FAA would allow a 10-year lease rather than a two-year lease is minimal, Peckham said, which prompted MC United to withdraw their plan.

MC United considered several other options, including the former Wausau Chemical site, before settling on the Airport Park recommendation. The proposed development, funded largely through private and community foundations, features artificial turf-covered, lighted, and multi-use sports fields. The Airport Park location was chosen based on discussion and stakeholder input.

Wausau’s soccer community comprises an estimated 1,800 athletes, the largest portion of which are Wausau and Everest Youth Soccer players.