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Seven-field soccer complex opens in Cambridge

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The Cambridge Soccer Complex had their official kickoff event Saturday, bringing soccer enthusiasts and community members out to take a look at the new facility.

“This is an upstream thing that we're doing for down the road for our kids to make sure they have a sense of purpose,” Cambridge Mayor Jan Liggett told CTV News on Saturday.

The $15 million facility, located at Fountain Street and Linden Drive, features seven fields, including three artificial turf fields and four natural surfaces as well as a club house.

“$15 million I think is a very small price to pay for the ongoing benefits that are just going to keep growing there,” Liggett said. “This is something that keeps bringing rewards year after year after year.”

“The field house has all sorts of amenities. They have change rooms, they have proper meeting rooms and it’s a facility that can host all kinds of different tournaments,” said Hardy Bromberg, deputy city manager. “By having seven fields all in one complex, I think that's going to be very welcoming to tournaments.”

‘Long time coming’

Discussions surrounding the new complex began more than a decade ago with construction starting in July of 2022 by Gateman-Milloy Inc.

 

“It's gone through three successive councils, so three different mayors, and we have a lot of staff that have been involved with this, the concept first started in 2012, but it didn't start in earnest until about 2014-2015,” Liggett explained.

 

“So it was a long process, and we were very fortunate to have the former landowner that was interested in giving back to the community and were able to obtain this land. And that was a number of years ago and over the last two years, we've been going through a design process and the construction. We’re looking forward to a lot more excitement and a lot of dreams created out here on the soccer pitch,” Bromberg said.

 

City staff said it was a long time coming to have a state-of-the-art soccer facility in Cambridge, especially with the region’s continuous population growth.

 

“As of the end of the year, the stats on our population have been quite shocking,” Liggett said. “It's about 20,000 more than we thought it was going to be and so what happens when a population grows, we tend to think that a lot of it is because of adults coming in but a large number of that are children. So we need to make sure that our children are occupied, that they have something that keeps them busy.”

Project delays

The facility was supposed to be complete at the start of the soccer season in 2023 but the project fell behind schedule, which the city said was due to supply-chain issues.

 

“Over the years, we've had difficult budgets to deal with and so our recreation facilities have been put on the back burner or delayed in some way,” Liggett explained. “Arts and culture, sports and recreation, they're usually the ones that have to be let go. But now with this complete, the next one off the chopping block will be the Preston Arena - we'll be doing our big sports facility there. That's going to be very exciting. So it's part of a whole network of recreation facilities. This is just one segment of it, but it's included in part of our recreational plans.”

Future of complex

The mayor said one of the city's goals with the new complex is to bring more excitement to the growing local soccer community.

 

“This is the type of thing that's going to bring them to connect with each other, have relationships with coaches, with other families. So it's so important to the psychology, the emotional strength of our community.”

 

“We've got a lot of competitive soccer players here in our community,” Bromberg said. “But we also have a lot of people that just enjoy coming out and kicking the ball and so you have the whole range.”

 

Conestoga College is a partner in the project and will use the fields for its soccer and rugby programs.

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