Soccer field to be put in Elliot Park this summer

Written with the assistance of Matthew Shepherd 

Full-size field in hopes of being completed by August for start of 2014-2015 soccer season

North Central officials remain very optimistic that the full sized field will be built in time to be used this fall.

“The project is continuing to move forward,” said North Central Athletic Director Jon High. “At this point, it is not whether or not the field will be put in or not, it is whether it will be done in time.”

On April 22, the Elliot Park Community Center held a contractors’ pre-bid meeting, at which prospective contractors were able to see the park and the exact plans for the new field in order to put together bids of how much the project would cost.

The project was then divided out and companies were able to submit closed bids on the various aspects of the project. On May 6, all bids will be opened and the total cost of the project will be determined.

The cost for this project is going to be approximately $1.1 million, with North Central covering $800,000. The rest of the money will come through the Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board and a Hennepin County Youth Sports Grant.

Anita Tabb, commissioner of Minneapolis Parks and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) District 4, which includes the Elliot Park area, is working through the finances of the situation.

A view of how Elliot Park appears now, the future
location of North Central’s soccer field.

“We are still trying to work through the details of the field in Elliot Park. There is still some negotiating going on about whether the field will be a full-size or half-size field depending upon the price,” said Tabb. “We only have a certain amount budgeted for the project and must stay within that budget.”

If all goes according to plan, ground breaking on the new field will take place in late May or early June, with a completion date set for the middle of August, just in time for the start of the 2014 soccer seasons.

“Right now we are proceeding as if the field will be available to us,” said Women’s Soccer Coach Allison Meadows said.

The turf field will be a huge addition for both the soccer teams and the athletics department as a whole. For the past five seasons the men’s and women’s soccer teams have been practicing and playing all home games in Coon Rapids, which is a half hour drive from North Central.

“Not having to travel to practice and games everyday is going to save our teams at least 100 hours over the course of the season,” said Meadows. “This will be a great advantage for our players, coaches, and fans that we haven’t had before.”

“By actually having a visible athletics facility on our campus, athletics will be put more to the forefront at North Central, which will hopefully increase the desire for more athletes to come out and play,” said Meadows.

The field will have an impact on the community as well.

Tyler Pederson, project designer and planner from the MPRB for the Elliot Park soccer field, is enthusiastic about the project and the larger field and what it could mean to the Elliot Park community.

“The bigger field would mean more people, more uses,” said Pederson. “There’s a lot more bigger games and bigger activities that brings life to the park which is kind of the big thing.”

About the author: Josh High