What does the future hold for Abbott Sports Complex? - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE; KLKNTV.com

Supporters were ardent at City Council Monday

What does the future hold for Abbott Sports Complex?

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The Abbott Sports Complex has been a part of the north Lincoln community since 1994, but it's up for sale and its future might not be sports.

Passionate testimony from those in support of keeping the Abbott Sports Complex open was heard at City Council Monday.

Pat Thomas, a board member of the Lincoln Sports Foundation, said, "He's going to get rid of it as soon as he can along with the rest of it!"

Fellow support, Jim Boivaird, who coaches at the facility, says, "There's no reason to do this. We're not chasing scholarships or any of those kind of ridiculous dreams, it's about teaching our kids life lessons."

Those who work and use the center banded together to keep the 92,000 sq. ft. facility open for sports and not an industrial warehouse, which one possible buyer is proposing.

But it's not that easy, according to their most recent tax returns the complex has been losing money.

From 2014 to 2015, their revenue fell from about $900,000 to $650,000. However, those who use the facility say it provides an important service for kids that couldn't normally afford such a place. They also cite a lack of athletic complexes on the northeast side of town.

"There's nothing even close. I mean, and that's what's really hard for me to believe, is it's so hard to get people to care about all these kids and they can't afford to go clear over to the south side," said Thomas.

Abbott supports nearly 500 youth players. Attorney Andrew Willis, who represents buyer Monte Froehlich, said he understands the passion behind the opposition, but says the seller has already made up their mind.

"I understand the emotions and it's a sad situation that there is not an available space for these youth sports uses," said Willis.

Lincoln Sports Foundation Board Member, Pat Thomas, however, says that the sale wasn't properly approved.

"The president of the board has to have a unanimous agreement, which is all five board members, he did not," says Thomas.

Thomas was not present during the vote. Attorney Willis said they'll look thoroughly at the agreement.

It's been signed by the president of the Lincoln Sports Foundation, so I don't have information on their bylaws or what actions were taken, so we'll just clarify everything was done correctly," says Willis.

This is far from done, next Monday the City Council will hold another public hearing and maybe a vote, it could even be pushed back.

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