A couple of weekends ago, I had the privilege of attending the New Destiny Gala at the Airport Hilton. Some of you may ask, “What kind of gala was that”? I am so glad you asked! The Second Annual New Destiny Gala was to benefit the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex. Let me say I was elated to learn about the history of the complex and the fact that the architectures, engineers, and contractors were all local and rooted in District 2. I also learned how a group of pastors now known as the Eastside Christian Action Group (ECAG) led by the late Dr. Thurman Walker and the community-at-large lobbied the city of San Antonio and Bexar County to turn the flood plain into a sports venue.
So why a gala? Have you wondered why the complex gates are almost always locked? Have you also wondered why you do not see the complex being used for more neighborhood events? After reading Ordinance 2016-10-20-0826 and reviewing the license agreement between ECAG and the City of San Antonio, the need for the gala and the answers to some of those questions are clear? Although it is a city property, the license agreement states ECAG will ensure its viability in our community. ECAG is responsible for all of the operation, maintenance and capital improvements of the 170 acres of land and buildings that make up the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.
The complex’s income stream comes from a few sources:
1. Facility rental revenue and concessions
3. City budget/bond allocations through the District 2 councilperson.
The 2017 bond measure allocated funding for a new field house that will include locker room facilities. It is the hope of ECAG rentals will increase with the completion of the new field house. Meanwhile, after reviewing the this year’s budget and the 2020 proposed budget the only money allocated for the complex is the bond dollars for the field house. This puts the fate of the complex in the hands of ECAG and the community. This could be a double-edged sword. It is up to us villagers, to promote and use the facility to ensure its longevity. There are a number of organizations waiting to control the outcome of the facility including the city. The New Destiny Gala was attended by about 200 people. The gala raised awareness for the facility but the level of funds raised draws a question.
The bottom line, we have a beautiful facility worth over 12 million dollars sitting in our midst. The complex we fought hard for. The complex we designed and built. To keep the complex ours, we must support the facility. The venue can be rented for private or public functions. You can call the complex office at 210.714.0017 to donate your time, talent or treasure. We need to protect our village gem known as the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.
THIS WEEK’S CALL TO ACTION:
1. Donate your time, talent or treasure to the Wheatley Heights Sports Complex.
2. Attend an event at the Complex.