Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
A birds-eye view of what the Chapples Soccer Park could look like.
THUNDER BAY -- Some major changes could be coming to Chapples Park if several community groups get their wish.
With an estimated 5,000 people in the city now playing the beautiful game, Soccer Northwest Ontario wants to see five all-weather fields at the park including a 120,000 square-foot building to house a standard field indoors. Leagues in the city are having trouble scheduling games and finding adequate fields to play on.
The organization said the facility could also help the city attract provincial, national and international tournaments.
The Thunder Bay Community Tennis Centre, also located at Chapples, would also like to attract major competitions by adding an indoor facility of its own.
Thunder Bay Chill Soccer Club was also looking for help Monday. The organization’s Premier Development Team couldn’t play a majority of its games at its home field at Chapples last year due to conditions. So far this year two Premier players and three youth players have injured themselves on the field. President Tony Colistro asked council to give the team more opportunity to use Fort William Stadium this year until a more permanent solution could be found.
Coun. Paul Pugh said it’s a shame that a championship team like the Chill, which has also seen growth from 123 to more than 2,000 youth in its development programs, using a field that is in such poor condition.
“It’s pathetic,” Pugh said.
A feasibility study on the proposed changes is expected in the fall. Council also told administration to accommodate the Chill club as much as possible this season.