Getting prime time at any of Edmonton’s indoor soccer centres is next to impossible. That’s how in demand they are, so at the newly named Community and Public Services Committee, Coun. Michael Walters will push some long term thinking.
“About the last thing we want is to five years from now say ‘oh I wish five years ago we had started planning for a new facility in the southwest,'” Walters said. “I’m going to press that point when this comes to committee, that we have to begin to think about where a centre could be, the kind of partnership we could have.”
He’s happy to see two more on are the way in south Edmonton where the growing population is. Foote Field at the U of A south campus is coming on line in November, while in northwest Edmonton the Victoria Soccer Club is adding onto its private facility. Scottish United has a facility on the drawing board that the city has contributed $264,000 in planning money for a project, and St. Albert is in talks with the City of Edmonton as well.
“As some one who has two kids in soccer, I see the use, I see the activity, I see the healthy outcomes. It ticks all the boxes in terms of good investment for the city and this is really about planning ahead.”
It was indoor soccer that prompted city council years ago to begin getting in debt again, seeing revenue from space rental as the income to pay for that mortgage. Walters said that was a wise move, and is part of what prompted him to make the inquiry to generate the report.
“It makes good sense that there’s a cost recovery there. Soccer centres, there’s good business cases to support our contribution whether it be capital funding of some kind, even debt. The use is tremendous.”
And there are partnerships to be had through out the city to make expansion work. “The soccer associations in the city are fantastic,” he said.
“Like we’ve done with Ivor Dent as an example where the rugby association, the Punjabi men’s soccer association, and EMSA, I think that what our city is known for is built on great partnerships, and I don’t see this being any different.”
Currently there are 13 facilities in Edmonton.
Read the report here at item 7.1