Gates Park may be getting a new synthetic soccer field, a plaza, spectator seating and a two-storey B.C. Soccer office – pending about $6 million in grant funding.
The city would chip in a maximum of $2.5 million with B.C. Soccer offering matching funds and PoCo soccer coming up with $500,000. The lion’s share of the funding – approximately $6 million – would have to come from grants with the construction schedule depending on when – and if – those grants are approved.
Throughout the year, Port Coquitlam would have guaranteed use of the field about 80 percent of the time with B.C. Soccer running programs, tournaments and other events for the remaining 20 percent, according to a release from the city.
“It would bring so many benefits to Port Coquitlam including access to a state-of-the-art sports field and amenities for kids and families, increased opportunities for our residents to stay active and healthy, and a new dynamic public space. The project would also support the revitalization of our downtown and deliver economic spinoffs for local businesses,” stated Port Coquitlam Mayor Brad West in a press release.
Currently in the preliminary design phase, the idea for a FIFA-standard field is the result of a collaboration between Port Coquitlam, B.C. Soccer, PoCo Soccer and the PoCo Sport Alliance.
The project would require the redevelopment of four hectares on the west end of the park, including replacing the washrooms and converting the grass field to synthetic turf. The redevelopment would also include new lighting and a warmup area, as well as a road along the south side of the park from Reeve Street.
The revamped field could offer a chance for Port Coquitlam to host lead-up events to the 2026 World Cup, according to the release.