News / Calgary

Calgary soccer club reveals plans for $10 million facility

Foothills Soccer Club to build new multi-sport training facility in the southeast

Foothills Soccer Club representatives Danny Hay, left and Tommy Wheeldon Jr. helped unveil plans for a new multi-sport training facility on Monday.

Mathew Silver/ For Metro

Foothills Soccer Club representatives Danny Hay, left and Tommy Wheeldon Jr. helped unveil plans for a new multi-sport training facility on Monday.

Elite athletes looking for a place to train in the winter might have found their state-of-the-art stomping ground.

Calgary Foothills Soccer Club announced plans to build a new $10 million training facility in southeast Calgary that will feature 80,000 square feet of high quality turf – perfect for athletes limited to training in the summer months.

According to Danny Hay, the program’s director for Foothills Soccer, the club will only be using the space 70 per cent of the time, and he is looking open up the space for sports like football, field hockey, and ultimate Frisbee.  

The new facility, which is currently under construction, will feature an international-size soccer pitch and be completed by January 2017.

The goal is to emulate the model of Scandinavian teams, who have found success on the international soccer scene despite their cold climate and relatively small populations.

“By having this facility it allows us the flexibility to train like an outdoor team but in the confines of the winter season,” said Tommy Wheeldon Jr., the club’s technical director.

Wheeldon Jr. pointed to the success of Iceland’s men’s team who defeated England in the UEFA Euro Championships this year, and the Swedish women’s team who just recently knocked off the U.S in the quarterfinals of the Olympics.

According to Danny Hay, the program’s director for Foothills Soccer, the project also makes sense from a business perspective.  Instead of having to purchase gym space and travel to play at quality facilities, the club will pay rent to private investors over the next 30 years.

“We’ve gotten to be a big enough club that it’s enough to pay a commercial rate of rent to some investors.  Instead of putting money in an RSP or a mutual fund, they can make a decent rate of return by putting it into something that benefits the Calgary community.”

The facility represents a positive step forward for soccer in Calgary, with the ultimate goal of one day fielding a Major League Soccer team –North America’s soccer equivalent to the NHL.  

Wheeldon Jr. anticipates that could happen in the next 10 years.

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