A re-elected BC Liberal government will team up with Vancouver Whitecaps FC and the Corporation of Delta to build a state-of-the-art National Soccer Development Centre (NSDC) in Delta, Premier Gordon Campbell announced today.
The NSDC will be instrumental in the development of top soccer talent, and will encourage physical activity in the region by providing improved community facilities.
“Soccer is the most popular participation sport for youth and adults in the province, and this new National Soccer Development Centre will help more players reach their potential and encourage the growth of soccer clubs across B.C.,” said Premier Campbell. “This centre will support the soccer community, it will create jobs in Delta, and it will help create a culture of sport and soccer in B.C. that will go hand-in-hand with the new Vancouver Major League Soccer franchise that will play at an upgraded BC Place Stadium in 2011.”
The NSDC will be a world-class training facility for not only players, but also coaches and referees. It will provide access to nation-leading sport science programs, and new development opportunities for soccer clubs throughout the province. The BC Liberal government will commit $17.5 million towards the centre’s total $31.5-million capital cost. The centre will be used by Whitecaps men’s and women’s senior teams; full-time residency programs; youth teams; and visiting teams.
“We are thrilled with this announcement of support from the BC Liberal government and our colleagues in Delta,” said Whitecaps president Bob Lenarduzzi. “A NSDC is a critical part of the Whitecaps’ stated mission to grow the game of soccer and act as a community asset in British Columbia and Canada. The facility will bring a range of community and economic benefits to Delta, and will be a significant factor in the ability of Canada’s national soccer team to compete on an international stage.”
“This centre will be an enormous economic boost for our community, drawing top players, coaches and others from around Canada to Delta to train and teach here,” said Wally Oppal, BC Liberal candidate for Delta South. “This is an incredible investment that will benefit Delta and B.C. for generations.”
The new centre is planned for John Oliver Park in Delta. Plans for the training centre include a clubhouse for national and professional teams, a training facility and seven fields. Five fields would be used for Whitecaps player development, with two for exclusive community use – one sand based grass field with lights and one synthetic turf field with lights.