A new Port Coquitlam sports facility is ready for competition.
Turf 2 at Gates Park officially opened today (Sept. 9), which is set to serve as the home of Port Coquitlam Saints field lacrosse.
It has a giant logo at centre field of the black and gold fighting Saint, as well as a gold border around the field.
The turf also has markings to accommodate soccer matches for minor and adult leagues, local field hockey games and outdoor field sports for nearby Riverside Secondary.
According to the city, the new turf is set to "improve playability, drainage capacity, and safety" for every athlete, team and tournament that utilizes the facility.
City officials and representatives from local sports organizations participated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday morning to mark the occasion.
This included Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon, PoCo councillors Steve Darling and Nancy McCurrach, as well as PoCo Sport Alliance executive director Ryan Clark and Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West.
"And I am incredibly proud to share that the former turf underlay was donated to a charity organization who used it to build a field on Vancouver Island for Indigenous youth," added West in a social media post.
"Very proud of the partnership with PoCo Lacrosse, Soccer, the PoCo Sports Alliance and all of our athletic associations and investments like this that support our community staying activity and heathy, especially our kids and young adults!"
It's also adjacent to, what will ultimately be, an $11.4-million project investment to turn Gates Park into a "state-of-the-art" sports hub — primarily for BC Soccer as its new base of operations.
In April, via Port Coquitlam MLA Mike Farnworth, the province announced it would be contributing $6.7 million of that total.
Most of the upgrades are expected to be completed next year:
- A synthetic turf field built to international competition (FIFA) standards
- 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 warm-up area
- An enhanced central pedestrian boulevard extending to Reeve Street
As Vancouver has won its bid to be a host city for the 2026 FIFA Men's World Cup, the fields may likely be used for tournament lead-up events, which could include team practices.
For more information on the Gates Park soccer hub, you can visit the City of Port Coquitlam's website.