Soccer moves to University Stadium


Alumni Field will no longer hold soccer games, only soccer practices. (Photo by Ryan Hueglin)
Alumni Field will no longer hold soccer games, only soccer practices. (Photo by Ryan Hueglin)

At the beginning of the 2013 season, both the men’s and women’s soccer teams will move all of their home games to University Stadium.

Since being built in 2006, Alumni Field has acted as the home field for soccer at Wilfrid Laurier University.

However, Laurier’s department of athletics and recreation is hoping to build soccer into a revenue sport, as per the Laurier sport model that was implemented in 2011.

“Reasons for moving over to the stadium are partly because we want to make it more of an event for people coming to watch,” said Ryan Lannan, coordinator of facilites for Laurier’s department of athletics and recreation. “We’ll be able to offer concession, tickets, have controlled access, not have people walk across the field on game day and offer the ability to have a score clock.

“It really promotes and enhances the event for not only the people that come to watch but also for our players that play too.”

While the soccer teams’ games will be moved to University Stadium, the plan is to still use Alumni Field as the practice field throughout the year. With the added availability of the field, Lannan hopes to allow more groups to use it throughout each semester.

“What it has provided is more opportunities for our clubs … to have some access to more time. And also open up more weekend programming for students.”

“The plans for Alumni Field are that it’s the diamond in the number of facilities we have,” said Peter Baxter, director of athletics and recreation at WLU. “And it’s a community space. When I walk out of here at 1:30 in the morning, and there are 100 people on the field throwing the ball and Frisbee and whatnot, to me that builds community.”

According to Baxter, the construction of Alumni Field in 2006 was approximately $1.5 million. Since then, there has been maintenance done on the field every few years.

“Like anything else, we’re very aware of the maintenance of the turf,” Lannan explained. “So one thing we did last year was put about $10,000 worth of work into the field.”

“In the future, the plan still has that field there. It may be configured a bit,” Baxter said.

Lannan also explained that the drainage system at Alumni Field is a “gravity aspect,” which means water-draining takes a lot longer, while University Stadium has a different drainage system, which drains quicker around the entire field.

“In terms of things down the road, we’re always cognizant of the maintenance requirements and the lifespan of turf,” he said.

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