Port Coquitlam Receives Grant to Proceed with World-Class Soccer Hub
Port Coquitlam, B.C…Apr. 22, 2022… Port Coquitlam will begin actively planning for a state-of-the-art soccer and community hub at Gates Park, following the announcement today of a $6.7-million provincial grant.
Members of City Council joined MLA Mike Farnworth, local, provincial and international soccer organizations, and others at Gates Park this afternoon to announce a $6.7 million contribution from the B.C. Ministry of Municipal Affairs towards a new complex at the far end of the park, featuring state-of-the-art tournament and practice fields, the B.C. Soccer Association headquarters, spectator seating, washrooms, a public plaza and other amenities.
Construction is anticipated to begin later this year and be completed in 2023. The agreement guarantees the City 80 per cent use of the turf field and public amenities.
“Today is truly an exciting day for Port Coquitlam, we’re grateful for the support of the provincial government to help turn the vision for this exciting facility into a reality,” said Mayor Brad West. “This second-to-none facility will put this community on the map as the premier sports city in our province. For both now and well into the future, we will have a community asset that will support all of our residents looking to stay active and healthy, provide a dynamic new public space, be a boon to our local businesses and further support the energy and vibrancy we are adding to our city with other projects. I think that’s what they call a win-win.”
The grant funding follows five years of planning and discussions between the City, B.C. Soccer and Port Coquitlam Euro-Rite FC (PoCo Soccer) in consultation with PoCo Sport Alliance.
The project will redevelop about four hectares (10 acres) at the west end of the 15-hectare (37-acre) athletic park, which currently has multiple grass and synthetic turf fields, ball diamonds, tennis court, outdoor gym and play equipment, and other amenities.
The new facility will feature:
- A state-of-the-art synthetic turf field built to international competition (FIFA) standards – replacing a grass field that is underutilized due to turf conditions and drainage issues,
- A two-storey 1,157-square-metre (about 12,500-square-foot) fieldhouse – replacing an existing washroom building – to serve as B.C. Soccer’s new headquarters and include PoCo Soccer office, storage, meeting space, public washrooms and other amenities,
- A multi-use public plaza for community gathering and events,
- A road along the south side of the park from Reeve Street, leading to a parking lot with car and bus parking adjacent to the new hub,
- Field lighting, bleachers and covered team benches,
- A synthetic turf soccer warmup area,
- An enhanced central pedestrian boulevard extending to Reeve Street, and
- Views from the Traboulay PoCo Trail, which will continue to encircle the area.
In addition to helping to build the sport of soccer in B.C. and Canada, the project will bring a number of community benefits, such as local jobs, a public plaza, improved facilities and field time for local sport groups. There will also be significant economic spinoffs related to the B.C. Soccer headquarters and FIFA-calibre fields, which will enable the City to host matches and events related to high-level tournaments, such as Vancouver’s bid to host the 2026 World Cup.
“This provincial grant funding will translate into a huge upgrade to the sport and recreation facilities we offer in Port Coquitlam,” said Cllr. Steve Darling, Council’s designate for recreation matters. “Our arrangement ensures Port Coquitlam’s extensive use of the new facilities, and the turf fields will increase year-round playing opportunities for kids, youth and adults alike. It will play a major role in promoting active and healthy lifestyles and inspiring our young athletes to develop their skills.”
Jason Elligott, B.C. Soccer Executive Director, said the organization is pleased that its long search for a new home has finally landed in Port Coquitlam.
“Gates Park sits right in the middle of a large concentration of soccer participants. The location is very central and already full of sport amenities,” Elligott said. “It is very exciting to have a soccer specific home that affords us the opportunities and exposure to progress soccer forward in B.C.. We are thankful to the City of Port Coquitlam and the B.C. Government for their support to help us achieve this important goal.”
Carlos Grosso, B.C. Soccer Board First Vice President and Board Member, noted: “Having a soccer specific home of B.C. Soccer has been a goal for many years, and I am pleased to have been part of the group that has help make it happen.”
In addition to the $6.7 million in provincial funding, the $12.2-million project will be funded with $2.5 million each from the City and B.C. Soccer, and $500,000 from PoCo Soccer. The City will fund its share from accumulated surplus funds.
Port Coquitlam, which will maintain and operate the facility, will have guaranteed use of the new turf field about 80 per cent of the time across the year, for use by local soccer groups. The remainder would be dedicated to B.C. Soccer to support programming, education offerings, events and tournament activity.
The City will continue to update the public as it finalizes the design over the coming months in anticipation of construction beginning before year’s end.
Based on the preliminary design, no tree removal is anticipated and public access will continue along the park’s perimeter trail. The upcoming planning work will include robust consideration of potential environmental and community impacts, including public access to the park and trails during and after construction, protection of nearby natural spaces and waterways, drainage, rainwater runoff, and traffic.
Updates will be provided as information becomes available through the designated webpage portcoquitlam.ca/soccerhub and the City’s social media channels. Comments and questions may be directed on webpage as well.
Manager of Communications & Administrative Services
City of Port Coquitlam