Rodway Posted July 17, 2004 Share Posted July 17, 2004 Your not the only Canadian city inline for a new (refurbished) soccer facility (funding pending). For those of you unaware King George V field is the site of the biggest victory in Canadian soccer history. Our 2-1 World Cup qualifying win over Honduras back in '85 that sent us to the World Cup. Ready to kick in $500,000 By CRAIG JACKSON, The Telegram The City of St. John’s has agreed in principle to contribute upwards of $500,000 to help the St. John’s Senior Soccer Association fund its $955,000 expansion plan for King George V Park. The association has agreed to put up $100,000. The final financial piece of the puzzle rests with the city’s application to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). St. John’s has to register the proposal with ACOA because it owns the King George site. October start Soccer association president Brian Murphy said if everything goes as planned, the expansion project could begin by mid-October. “It will be ready for July of 2005,” he said. “For soccer in St. John’s, for soccer in Newfoundland, for soccer everywhere, it’s a win-win situation. “We need to bring in the national teams to expose our kids to this.” But, perhaps even more importantly, Murphy said, it’s critical the existing facility undergo a facelift if St. John’s wishes to attract national and international competition. “If we do not get this facility, we will not get any national or international games here at all,” Murphy said. The Canadian Soccer Association (CSA) has made it clear that while international games have been held at King George in past years, time and expectations have changed for host cities. “Before we can consider St. John’s as a host city, the facility at King George V Park must be upgraded to meet the standards of international requirements,” Kevan Pipe, chief operating officer of CSA, stated in a July 7 letter to Murphy. For instance, a minimum of 6,000 seats is required and there must be enough dressing room space, including showers and washrooms, to accommodate four teams at the same time. There must be a designated area, with shower facilities, for officials. The facility must also be able to accommodate a medical room, press box and broadcasting area. Maximum lighting and electronic scoreboards are also required. The minimum length of the soccer pitch should be 110 yards, with 120 yards being the maximum. The width should be a minimum of 70 yards to a maximum of 80 yards. The local soccer body proposes to expand the existing field to 75 yards wide from the present 70 yards, and 115 yards in length from the existing 110 yards. The proposed upgrades and costs include: $25,000 for field expansion; $345,000 for the new soccer pavilion; $462,000 for bleachers to accommodate between 5,500 and 6,000 spectators; asphalt, $15,000; sprinkler system, $35,000; field fencing, $40,000; lighting upgrade, $15,000; portable television towers, $8,000; players benches, $5,000; and $5,000 for the medical hut. Asked if there are enough soccer fans here to fill a 6,000-seat capacity at King George, Murphy said: “That was proven in 2002.” The site accommodated about 8,000 fans for the national men’s soccer championship that year. “If we had more seats at King George for that championship game, we could have had up to 10,000 or 12,000 people at the facility,” he said. Mayor Andy Wells calls the association’s proposal “an excellent project,” one that’s “long overdue.” “We need to upgrade our soccer facilities in this city and we’ve been working on that through our soccer construction committee,” he said. “Our funding is contingent on cost-sharing,” he said, referring to the application that will be registered with ACOA. “We have a policy that while we’re trying to pay down our debt, where there is a cost-sharing based on 50-cent dollars for a project we deem meritorious to the city, we will certainly become involved.” Coun. John Dinn, chairman of the city’s soccer construction committee, said the association’s proposal comes at a good time. The city would have to spend thousands of dollars regardless to upgrade the existing facility and install new bleachers over the next couple of years, he said, noting many of the existing bleachers had to be removed because they were considered unsafe. “If you’re going to go down there and spend probably a quarter of a million dollars on bleachers, it’s just as well to go down and make the place a state-of-the-art facility,” Dinn said. “The place is getting kind of run down a bit so now we can at least refurbish the whole thing at one time. You’re making the facility something that can attract outside competition which will be good for the sport.” Sport tourism is another reason to support the expansion proposal, he said. Coun. Paul Sears, a committee member and avid soccer fan, said if the expansion plan is realized, the city stands to make major strides within the sport. “The Canadian Soccer Association will look at our venue as a serious option when it comes to national and international soccer games,” he said. “This will benefit more than the citizens of St. John’s.” The growth of soccer in his province clearly indicates there’s room for a modern facility that can attract some big events, he said. As for people who may argue it’s a bit much for the city to approve-in-principle $500,000 for the expansion plan, Sears said he would counter that by saying it will be money well spent. Further, Sears said the city will get a top-notch soccer facility through a cost-shared agreement. Murphy, meanwhile, said the provision for portable television towers will allow national and international broadcasters to come here and televise major soccer events. The towers also provide the soccer association with the option of approaching Rogers Cable to consider televising some local soccer games. The expanded facility will also allow the soccer association to organize major events for minor and senior leagues. The association is hoping to get a City of Legends tournament organized, similar to the Confederation Cup high school hockey tournament that attracts provincial and mainland teams. The design also ensures the view plane for neighbours living along the Boulevard, adjacent to the soccer pitch, isn’t obstructed. The soccer body also says the pavilion fits in nicely with the neighbourhood. Clapboard will be present on the buidling’s exterior to complement the homes in the area. firstname.lastname@example.org Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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