MILFORD, Ohio -- Could a futbol pitch replace five East Side softball diamonds?
There's speculation FC Cincinnati's practice facility could open in Milford, after Max Dixon's Expressway Park announced it would be selling the property and had to vacate by July 9.
The park, located near Milford Parkway and Lila Avenue, has five regulation diamonds, batting cages, a basketball court and pro shop. It's been open for decades.
The owners announced the imminent closure Tuesday, saying they "signed a purchase agreement with an undisclosed client not related to softball."
"The client will be making a public statement within a couple weeks regarding their use of the property," according to a letter sent to managers and players.
FC Cincinnati spokeswoman Lizz Summers would not confirm if the club was the buyer.
Whoever's decided to purchase the property needs access by July 9 for demolition and immediate development -- meaning the softball season will be cut short.
On Facebook, the owners said they "are no longer physically able to do the work it takes to run the Park."
"We thank everyone that has every played at Expressway Park. We could not have existed without our customers. We have met some wonderful people along the way. We hope the teams continue to play at a few of the other facilities left. Softball is a great social sport. A great way to engage with friends and family and have fun. So we wish everyone good luck and hope you all have some great memories."
Eric Besanko of Milford said he's spent a lot of time at the park over the years.
"When these kind of institutions shut down, it's never an easy thing," he said. "There's other parks like that, but this one right here has been awfully handy for folks on the whole East Side."
Steve Broughton, the owner of nearby DNA Sports Center, said more soccer in the area could be a positive force.
"For us, it works well because the nice part about soccer is they start at 4 and 5 years old and they can play all the way through high school, females and males," he said.