Sports

Langley FC pitches new field idea to City

A local soccer organization pitched a new pitch to Langley City council.

Regan Mostat appeared on behalf of Langley FC at last week’s (Feb.6) meeting where he proposed the soccer club would partner with the City to construct a new artificial turf field.

City Park, H.D. Stafford School or Buckley Park, were mentioned as potential locations by Mostat, Langley FC’s vice-president of soccer operations.

Stafford would not be a viable option since it is owned by the Langley Board of Education, he was told.

Langley FC has close to 1,400 registered players — from as young as five all the way to adult for both male and females — in both recreational and competitive teams.

They are currently about 90 teams.

“We anticipate that by 2013 Langley FC could potentially have almost 2,000 players on almost 200 teams,” he told council.

With soccer season, which runs September to April, the sport is up against field lacrosse and football, as well as the Langley United Youth Soccer Association for field allocation time.

In addition to meet the growing demands of soccer, the other problem is the result of field closures because of poor weather.

“Any frost closes grass fields, it is a tough, tough thing,” he said.

“Grass fields can close, but not turf fields.”

And once games are cancelled, they need to be rescheduled, adding to the problem.

Turf fields also require less maintenance — cutting grass, lining fields, fertilizer and repairs — resulting in savings in labour and materials over time.

Other sports groups could also use the field, as well as attracting sporting events from outside the community, thus serving as a revenue source.

Mostat estimates the project’s total cost would be range between $1.2-$1.8 million, depending on parking, lighting, seating and other field attributes.

Langley FC has capital funding set aside for the project, which they would obviously contribute.

Mostat also asked if perhaps higher levels of government might be able to pitch in with the funding.

But Mayor Peter Fassbender called it “an uphill battle” as there is not a lot of money coming from higher levels of governments for these sorts of projects.

Councillor Jack Arnold stated that an artificial turf field within City boundaries could also benefit the sports teams at Stafford.

Councillor Rosemary Wallace was curious as to how many City residents played for the various Langley FC teams.

While Mostat did not have those numbers at the meeting, he did track them down later, and said that 450 — nearly a third — are from within the City.

Councillor Dave Hall also suggested the possibility of building the field at Penzer Park.

The matter was referred to staff to take a look at.

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