By Emma Wood
For students who may be more likely to support the Rams in soccer if their home field was close by, that day might come soon.
North Central is considering partnering with Elliot Park Neighborhood, Inc., and Minneapolis Park and Recreation to create a full-size soccer field in the area of Elliot Park many students refer to as the “dust bowl.”
The task of building a 110-by-70 yard soccer field would cost approximately $1.1 million. North Central has not yet determined how much to contribute.
“At this point all parties involved with the project are researching possible money from donors, foundations, and grants,” said Jonathan High, director of athletics.
The Rams are currently traveling to Coon Rapids to play their home soccer games. A closer home field could mean an increase in attendance and support for the Rams at their games.
“It would improve our performance because of the encouragement from our peers,” said Valerie Massman, senior urban development major and member of the women’s soccer team.
The development of a soccer field in Elliot Park could also give students a new opportunity to connect with the community outside of North Central.
“This field would enable the student body to integrate with the neighborhood,” said Massman. “We could practice [soccer] with people from the neighborhood and get to know them.”
High also expressed support for the project.
“If NCU can be a key contributor to making the community better, we can be seen as givers and not takers,” said High.
If the final decision is to go ahead with the project, work will begin towards building the soccer field as one community. If the decision is to delay the project, North Central and community partners will continue to meet and come to a more conclusive decision at a later date. If they decide to dismiss the project altogether, they will instead build a small turf field in Elliot Park for recreational purposes.
All those involved in the deliberation process are hoping to come to a definite decision by the end of December.