$2M turf soccer field for London's top teams expected to be in high demand
LONDON, Ont. -- It was a unique twist on a ground-breaking ceremony. A soccer ball was dropped to christen the new $2-million privately-funded Tricar Field in southwest London.
“It’s a full-size regulation size turf soccer field,” says Tricar Group Vice-President of Operations Adam Carapella. “If you go sideways there are two nine by nine fields which are in high demand in the city.”
The turf field initially will be used as a practice facility for London TFC Academy, and FC London. That is music to the ears of the organization's owner Ian Campbell who can now have his players practicing for over eight months of the year.
“It gives us a lot of hours. We are training for well over 1,200 hours a year,” says Campbell. “To be able to schedule it on our own field, it’s fantastic.”
Soccer fields, especially turf, are in high demand in the region. Just twenty minutes south of London, the City of St. Thomas recently opened it's 65-acre facility, which has 35 soccer pitches, and one turf field.
“This is a proud moment for our department and city,” says St. Thomas’ Parks Supervisor Adrienne Jefferson. “Not many cities have something like this, and it can be used until November when we’ve had to shut down our other facilities.”
This new field at Tricar’s headquarters comes at a time when London is about to lose dozens of soccer fields at the corner of Highbury Avenue and Oxford Street.
City of London Parks and Recreation Manager Scott Stafford says their master plan is showing the need for soccer fields, and he is thrilled that it creates capacity.
“It initially is going to be used by London TFC Academy right now, but in off times there should be space available for different groups along the way,” says Stafford.
Carapella says the plan is to break ground in the next couple weeks, with a projected opening of spring of 2020.