Construction will soon begin on a modern indoor soccer complex at the University of Manitoba. The first-class facility will be home to Winnipeg’s first multi-field, indoor soccer complex and will open for the 2008 season.
The announcement was made on September 17 by Premier Gary Doer; Rod Bruinooge, MP for Winnipeg South, on behalf of Rona Ambrose, president of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification; Mayor Sam Katz, City of Winnipeg; Dr. Emőke Szathmáry, University of Manitoba president and vice-chancellor; and Keith Ferbers, chair of the Winnipeg Soccer Federation.
“This is another step forward in our efforts with the community to boost the health and well-being of not only children and their families but Manitobans of all ages,” said Premier Doer. “The design features of the new complex will allow a wide range of people to access the facility and it’s anticipated that over 250,000 people will pass through its doors each year.”
“Canada’s New Government is committed to working with other levels of government and stakeholders to provide communities with access to healthy lifestyles and active living through long-term infrastructure,” said MP Bruinooge. “Our investment of $1 million toward this new indoor soccer facility at the University of Manitoba, through the Canada-Manitoba Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund will help indoor soccer flourish in Manitoba.”
“The City of Winnipeg is proud to play a leading role in making sure young Winnipeggers and soccer enthusiasts have a quality indoor soccer complex,” said Mayor Katz. “As Mayor, we are proud to make recreational facilities a priority for Winnipeggers as we continue to invest in the future of our city. I want to thank all the partners for their assistance in making this complex a reality and for addressing the needs of our citizens and community.”
The sport of indoor soccer has grown rapidly in Winnipeg. The number of registered players in Winnipeg has doubled over the past 10 years, with approximately 6,500 players registered for the sport in 2006. There are a number of single field facilities across the city, but they are not sufficient to meet the demand for indoor time.
“The University of Manitoba is pleased to be a partner in this exciting new project," said Dr. Szathmáry. "Engaging in the world's most popular sport is a great way for children and youth to reap aerobic benefits and to learn teamwork and allied social skills. Learning by doing sets young people on the right path in life. We are eager to welcome our new visitors to campus, and expect the new soccer complex to bring players of all ages and many soccer enthusiasts here."
"This is our dream come true," added Ferbers. "Our member leagues -- the women's, men's and youth soccer leagues -- have been working toward this day for many years. This facility will help us meet the growing demand for indoor soccer among all ages and abilities. In addition, a clear-span facility is the premier version of indoor soccer complexes and we can hardly wait to begin playing next fall."
The clear-span design of the facility will provide flexibility in the number of available playing fields. The larger playing field can be subdivided into smaller fields to accommodate a wide range of ages and abilities. Although soccer is the priority, other field-type sports will be able to take advantage of the clear-span facility.
The environmentally-friendly facility will feature low-flow shower heads, low flush toilets, and a Power Smart electrical system, which will lower operating costs, reduce energy and water use, release fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and provide a healthier indoor environment. With this new complex, Winnipeg will be among only a handful of Canadian cities that have an indoor soccer facility that operates throughout the year.
Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex
The Winnipeg Indoor Soccer Complex will be a clear-span (no pillar) facility to accommodate numerous soccer organizations with players of all ages, and will help meet the growing demand for indoor soccer in Manitoba.
The $12.5 million facility is funded jointly by the University of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, the Province of Manitoba, the Government of Canada and the Winnipeg Soccer Federation.
The 105,000 square foot complex will include:
• four indoor playing fields;
• dressing rooms;
• viewing stands;
• restaurant; and
The majority of peak playing time will be reserved for amateur soccer events. The rest of the time will be for other sport activities and University of Manitoba programs. Total attendance estimates for those utilizing the facility are in excess of 250,000 people per year.