New soccer facility a must for City

It’s a big project with an equally big budget but the people behind the new indoor soccer facility are convinced there is going to be an even larger payoff once it’s up and running.

“A lot of our elite athletes have to travel to Edmonton to continue their training. We want to stop that exodus and see if we can keep our core group together,” said Alan Peturson, treasurer with the Red Deer City Soccer Association, speaking about the building located at Edgar Industrial Park. “The economic impact is in the millions.”

The budget for this massive project sits at $6.5 million and the association has raised about one million with the province kicking in $105,000 last week.

“We’re hoping the business community steps behind us and sees the value that this will bring to the community and to Central Alberta,” he said.

The seed for this project was planted almost a decade ago when people started to see soccer numbers grow dramatically and the fact the indoor soccer amenities were severely lacking in the region.

“We’re bursting at the seams now for numbers. The City’s getting bigger, the surrounding area is getting bigger and really there’s no facility like this where you could play normal, boardless soccer year round,” said association president Paul Morigeau.

“We have about four thousand members within RDCSA, that means ladies’ and men’s competitive programs as well as the house league,” said Peturson. “We are the largest sport organization in Red Deer by numbers.”

The building would have 107,000 sq. ft. of open space which would be used about half the available time by the soccer groups leaving the rest to be filled by other sports groups such as football, rugby, lacrosse and baseball for example.

The field turf is similar to that used in NFL stadiums and the open structure would be covered by a strong fabric. Having this building could help attract many other events to the region due to its one of a kind nature, said Morigeau.

“There’s tournaments year round,” he said. “It’s the only facility of its kind in Alberta, situated in the middle of Alberta, it just makes perfect sense really.”

Other uses would include hosting provincial training programs and competitions which adds to the revenue generating aspect of the building, said Peturson.

If all goes well the building could be open for the indoor soccer season in 2014.

sports@reddeerexpress.com

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