With the grand opening of Edmonton South Soccer Centre expansion, there are now two more indoor fields for the soccer, inline hockey, ball hockey and lacrosse sports communities.
“We’re always needing more opportunities, particularly during the winter months,” said Adrian Newman, CEO of the Edmonton Soccer Association.
“(With) soccer, it enables us to do clinics, practice times — which were in short supply (of) before — and of course the league games, which are organized by Edmonton Minor Soccer and the adults with Edmonton District Soccer.”
Read more: Edmonton building 2 new indoor sports fields
The expansion, which is attached to the west of the existing soccer centre at 6520 Roper Rd., adds two new indoor fields — one turf and one concrete — to Edmonton’s inventory.
“These are standard, arena-sized fields, same as what we have on the existing 12 fields that we operate in three different buildings,” Newman said.
He said there is still a shortage in decent soccer times but this will help.
“The league’s basically booked every prime hour… from October through to the end of March, it will be in use, seven days a week.”
He said the next project will probably be a field house conversion, likely at the Bill Gilhespy Soccer Complex at Henry Singer Park near 149 Street and 137 Avenue.
Newman explained the process was more challenging than expected and actually took about a year longer than planned. But, Newman says, the new fields will make a difference to athletes of all ages and levels in the city and beyond.
“It allows a lot of the (soccer) teams to practice when previously they were forced to play in a gym, which is not exactly the proper training for when they play league games.
“On the concrete side, ball hockey, Edmonton lacrosse and inline, for the first time, now have two fields available all year-round,” Newman said.
Edmonton Minor Soccer Association plans for the field
“We already had discussions last weekend with the president of the Canadian Ball Hockey organization and they’re very excited about this facility and how suitable it would be for holding national championships here.”
There’s even been talk of hosting an international event at the facility, he said.
“We look forward to hosting provincial championships, national championships and maybe even the odd global championship,” Newman added. “But even national championships bring in people from all over Canada and with the support they all bring, it would be a big deal.”
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