The City of Cambridge is in the design stage of a new soccer development that will be located at 880 Linden Dr. Conestoga College will work in partnership with the city to bring this development to life and give the college a state-of-the-art field for sports matches.
“It’s exciting because we’re in a position now to offer really enhanced facilities for our outdoor programs, that being varsity and recreational,” said Andrew Bates, Conestoga’s recreation manager.
The City of Cambridge is ecstatic to be working with Conestoga to build something that will not only benefit the athletes but the community as well.
“It will certainly help our sports tourism and we’re trying to get back up-to-speed on sports tourism in Cambridge,” said Donna Reid, the Ward One city councillor.
Conestoga will give the city $1.5 million towards the development which will include four natural fields and three artificial fields. There will also be seating areas, change rooms, and equipment storage.
“Seating for 200 people will encourage an audience and encourage people to come out and be a part of it,” said Reid.
Athletes at the college will finally be getting a home-field advantage once the construction of the stadium is hopefully completed in 2023.
“We’ve been playing all our games off-campus at multiple venues,” said Bates. “This is going to provide our outdoor teams with a home to be proud of and to really develop and grow.”
880 Linden Dr. is a convenient location for the soccer stadium because it is roughly a five-minute drive from the Doon campus.
These fields will be state-of-the-art so it allows Conestoga to host provincial and national championship tournaments for the Ontario Colleges Athletic Association (OCAA) and the Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA).
“We want to be able to start to host some of those tournaments,” said Bates. “This will allow us to likely receive direct entry into those tournaments which would be beneficial to our teams.”
Although the college will get lots of use out of the fields, many recreational organizations are interested in using them as well.
“We have a number of people who are engaged in soccer, particularly our youth,” said Reid. “We have a Cambridge youth soccer group plus many others that are interested.”
The partnership with Conestoga made sense to the city because the college was able to help pay for costs.
“I feel very strong on partnerships. I think when we partner with many people in our community that we’re all better off,” said Reid. “I really think this will be a benefit for the college, as well as the city.”
Bates also sees it as a successful partnership.
“Every step of the way it’s been really open communication, they’ve been involving us in the design discussions,” he said.
This allows Conestoga to have a say in what the stadium will look like and what extra entities will be needed.
For more in-depth information on the city’s plans for the development, visit their city council document.