These photos show the bleacher sections which may become permanent fixtures at the Pelican Rapids Brown Field soccer complex. The bleachers—plus field lighting—are being liquidated at the former Red Horse Ranch near Elizabeth, which hosted rodeos and other equestrian events.
These photos show the bleacher sections which may become permanent fixtures at the Pelican Rapids Brown Field soccer complex. The bleachers—plus field lighting—are being liquidated at the former Red Horse Ranch near Elizabeth, which hosted rodeos and other equestrian events.

With Red Horse Ranch liquidating bleachers, field lights—Pelican soccer complex may take shape at fraction of cost

Opportunity has knocked, and the Pelican Rapids schools and increasingly active soccer organization is responding. 

Two sections of bleachers and a complete set of field lighting is available at the former Red Horse Ranch equestrian facility near Elizabeth. If things unfold accordingly, Pelican could have an essentially complete soccer complex on the west side of town. 

The Pelican Rapids United Soccer Association (PRUSA) has had a busy winter. 

Aside from launching the new Sunday Soccer League, they have been working on a long-term facility development plan for the David Brown Soccer Field. PRUSA has been developing this plan over the past three years and had begun talks with the City’s park board one year ago, but like many other things the pandemic put everything on hold. 

Anonymous donor gives $32,500 to Pelican soccer 

However, in December 2020, the PRUSA board re-launched efforts, when an anonymous donor kick-started funding of the potential project with a generous $32,500 donation.

The anonymous donor commented at the time of the gift, “I have enjoyed watching our school soccer program from the very first match and I see how the program has opened up opportunities for youth to be involved. I have watched the adult Sunday league and summer recreation programming that PRUSA operates for kids and I see it as a sport for all ages that gets people together for fun and exercise. Soccer is healthy for our community. Use the donation as needed to grow and enhance the sport in Pelican Rapids.”

In February, PRUSA brought the long-term plan back to the park board to pitch the vision of the project and solidify the partnership with the city. 

The park board gave PRUSA the green light to begin pursuing the idea. 

The plan included cost projections of $800,000 and included bleachers, changing rooms for teams, and a concession stand that would be incorporated into the existing picnic shelter at Brown Field. 

Long range plan accelerated by bleacher, light prospect

Long-term development was the plan, but a surprising opportunity has developed over the past few weeks as Pelican Rapids School’s Building and Grounds Superintendent Trevor Steeves brought an opportunity to PRUSA that would expedite development at a much lower cost. 

The opportunity comes as Red Horse Ranch near Elizabeth, just southeast of Pelican Rapids, looks to liquidate their existing bleachers and field lighting. 

The David Brown Soccer Field is the home field of both the Pelican Rapids Vikings as well as the Sunday Soccer League. 

Anyone attending games this past year, would have noticed the current facility has no seating available. Fans must either stand or sit in the grass to watch matches. The field lighting would also provide the high school team with the ability to play night games. 

Bleachers plus lights could come at fraction of value

The original projected cost for the bleacher portion of the project was $445,000 and did not include field lighting. The current deal on the table with Red Horse Ranch would have a projected cost of $120,000, which would complete the bleacher portion— and also include field lighting. 

PRUSA in partnership with the school has currently raised $63,000 and is looking to raise more capital to complete the project. PRUSA is hoping to finalize funding for the project by early summer and break ground shortly after to have the facility upgraded by the time the high school season starts in late August. 

Special fund set up by 

Pelican Soccer Association

Interested donors can give tax deductible donations towards the project through West Central Initiative – Pelican Rapids Soccer Association. P.O. Box 318, Fergus Falls, MN 56538. WCI is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.