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PREMIER TRAINING ACADEMY FAQ
What is the Milwaukee Wave Premier Training Academy?
Continental Properties Company, Inc. and the Wave are partnering on an innovative soccer training academy and multi-use facility as part of the Cudahy Station development in Cudahy.
The Premier Training Academy will provide a local, regional and national attraction for serious soccer players of all ages. Under the direction of Michael King, the Wave’s all-time leading scorer, the academy’s curriculum will be aimed at improving ball skills, technical development, fitness, mental strength and nutrition in a personalized, focused environment.
If this project is approved, completion is expected in the summer of 2009. The Milwaukee Wave Premier Training Academy will feature over 60,000 square feet housing four futsal courts, and a full-size indoor field with artificial turf and dasherboards that would be the training home of the four-time world champion Milwaukee Wave.
What is futsal?
More and more American youth programs are discovering the benefit of futsal, which is the world's most popular version of indoor soccer.
There are five players on a side (Major Indoor Soccer League games have six) and the court size approximates a basketball court. There are no walls, and the ball is smaller and has less bounce than a traditional soccer ball. Players who got their start in futsal include the Wave's Marcio Leite, a skillful player who made the MISL's All-Rookie team least year, and Ronaldinho, the two-time FIFA Men's Player of the Year, from Brazil.
Keith Tozer, the Wave's coach, has coached the U.S. national team since 1996, and led them to the gold medal at the CONCACAF Championships in 2004.
Why should my kids play futsal?
The game emphasizes technical play — ball skills — and quick decision-making. Those elements transfer well to the outdoor game.
Yet the need for a limited amount of space makes it an ideal game in climates where year-round outdoor training is not feasible.
What is the benefit to the citizens of Cudahy?
The benefits are two-fold. First, the Premier Training Academy will be a destination for people throughout Wisconsin and northern Illinois. While players train, their families will be able to shop, eat and even stay in Cudahy Station, keeping dollars in the community and bringing additional money, and exposure, to the city.
Second, the facility will give Cudahy the opportunity to develop community programs. The Wave appreciates the responsibility attached to a TIF project and looks forward to partnering with the citizens of Cudahy to support the programs they see as most in need of a great facility.
Will you bring tournaments to the Premier Training Academy?
With four futsal courts and access to nearly 100,000 youth players in a 100-mile radius, this facility would certainly be attractive for tournament play. Though leagues are not in our plans, some tournament play is in consideration, while always keeping our training emphasis No. 1.
Are you sure this facility will get enough use?
It's the least of our worries. Most teams train in school gyms or wherever they can find an empty indoor space, and all of them are looking for a quality place to develop players. We will start by training players of all ages, from beginners to serious high school and college players looking for an edge in earning scholarships, professional opportunities and national team consideration.
In addition, the open space of the futsal courts is designed to accommodate exposition business, as well as programs benefiting the citizens of Cudahy.
Will the Wave move its offices to the Premier Training Academy?
It is not practical at this time to move the Wave business offices into Cudahy; the whole of the facility will be devoted the soccer and multi-purpose uses. We certainly expect to have a presence at the facility; plans are still being shaped but it could take the form of a pro shop/merchandise store or ticket outlet.
How do we know you’re committed to the long-term viability of this project?
The Wave are in the midst of their 24th consecutive season of professional indoor soccer; with local ownership, a thriving camp program and strong ties to the community, we expect to be around for decades to come.
And we expect those decades to be spent training in Cudahy. A project of this magnitude is not something we take lightly, or expect to discard in favor of the newest thing.
How will the Premier Training Academy work with the Wave Summer Soccer Camps?
More than 4,000 kids attend our camps every summer, at more than 50 locations, including Cudahy. We see the academy as an extension of that program, offering age-appropriate soccer development year-round, leaning on and expanding on the curriculum we’ve created over more than 15 years of Wave Summer Soccer Camps.
Why should Cudahy be providing TIF dollars to help a professional sports team?
The Milwaukee Wave do not live in the same economic neighborhood as Major League Baseball, the NFL or the NBA. A top NBA player, for example, will receive as much salary in 2 games as the entire Wave roster does for a season. We have great television partnerships with Fox Soccer Channel (national) and Time Warner Sports (local), but neither provides us a revenue stream at this time. In short, the Wave cannot tap into the kind of revenue available to those other leagues. TIF support is really a re-investment in the economic development of Cudahy, and makes the whole of the project possible.