Murphy’s soccer team drops out of Jackson sports complex plan
JACKSON — The women's soccer team co-owned by Gov. Phil Murphy will not be part of a new Ocean County sports complex after the park came under criticism for its environmental impact.
Trophy Park is a 200 acre youth sports facility proposed for Route 537 in Jackson next to Six Flags Great Adventure. It will have 16 baseball and softball fields, plus batting cages; 10 lacrosse/soccer/field hockey fields, including practice fields; a 400,000 square foot, 18 court indoor facilities for basketball/volleyball/cheer/wrestling and 6,000 seat outdoor stadium, according to its website.
Sky Blue FC, the team Murphy co-owns with Steven Temares, the CEO of Bed, Bath & Beyond was listed as a "strategic partner" in the development on its website. According to NJ.com the team would relocate its offices and practice facilities to the park and play its games at the stadium.
Sierra Club president Jeff Tittel raised concerns about 100,000 trees being cut to build the park in and state agencies being involved in the approval process in a column in the Asbury Park Press on Friday.
"The only thing green about Trophy Park will be the AstroTurf in the indoor arena," Tittel wrote in the column headlined "Fight Murphy's Xanadu in the Pines in Jackson." Ground was broken on the Adventure Sports & Entertainment youth sports complex on Route 537.
Tittel said that his group was especially discouraged by the two projects because they had successfully fought and won a battle with Six Flags Great Adventure over trees being cut for a solar project.
The Asbury Park Press reported on Saturday that Sky Blue has since withdrawn from being part of the project. The team was missing from the website as a "strategic partner" at Trophy Park.
The Jackson Planning Board will review an application for Trophy Park at its meeting on Monday night.
Murphy's Sky Blue team, which won just one game during the season, was criticized for poor living conditions for the players and a lack of proper practice facilities in recent months. The governor admitted the players had not received a "first rate experience" on and off the field, and vowed to work with the team's management to correct the situation.