Public/Private Partnership to Construct All-Weather Turf Field with Lights
Today, Portland City Council approved an exciting partnership between Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC and Delta Development, LLC.
Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz introduced the partnership, along with PP&R’s Todd Lofgren, Portland Timbers & Portland Thorns FC Chief Operating Officer Mike Golub, Timbers & Thorns General Manager Gavin Wilkinson, Thorns FC defender Rachel Buehler and Timbers defender David Horst. The ordinance was unanimously approved.
The Timbers and Thorns FC will be the lead funding partners in converting a grass soccer field at PP&R’s Delta Park into a synthetic turf field complete with lights. Portland’s pro soccer teams will use the new field and nearby building space (to be constructed as part of the project) for practices, for Timbers Academy program development, and for coaches’ training. When not reserved for these purposes, the field, locker rooms and restrooms will be available for the public by permit.
Construction is expected to start in August of 2013, with the field scheduled for completion in fall of 2013. Completion of the adjacent building is expected by spring of 2014.
“The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC have established a standard of excellence in community engagement both on and off the pitch,” says Portland Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “We are very happy that this significant project is moving forward to improve Delta Park for all users. Public-private partnerships like this help make our City and our award-winning park system continue to thrive.”
An adjacent building at Delta Park will be updated with brand-new locker rooms and restroom facilities for field users as well.
PP&R will provide $100,000 to the cost of the project via System Development Charges (SDC’s) from development fees (not General Fund tax dollars). PP&R will also provide design and construction oversight staff costs. The Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns FC will generously contribute the remaining funds, currently estimated at $1.1 million dollars.
“We are delighted to partner with Portland Parks & Recreation and add an important piece to the training infrastructure for the Thorns, Timbers U-23s, the Timbers Academy teams and the area’s soccer community as a whole,” said Gavin Wilkinson, general manager of the Timbers and Thorns FC. “This will enable the Timbers and Thorns to continue to be at the forefront of coach and player development, and both teams are very pleased to continue to help promote soccer in the Portland community for generations to come.”
Portland Parks & Recreation owns Delta Park, including seven softball fields, one all-weather synthetic sports field with lights, and eight grass sports fields. Due to wet conditions, play cannot take place on the existing eight grass sports fields at Delta Park for approximately six months a year. Synthetic turf fields such as the existing one at the park are open and available year-round.
More than a decade ago, the citizens of Portland committed to the Parks 2020 Vision for their park system. Part of that vision includes a commitment to improve sports fields, including converting existing grass sports fields to all-weather synthetic turf fields and adding field lights at Delta Park.
Delta Development, LLC, will manage the permitting, design and construction project, subject to the terms and conditions of an agreement with PP&R and Portland Timbers/Portland Thorns FC.
The new partnership with complement the project approved on May 29th, 2013, by Portland City Council to convert three grass fields to all-weather synthetic turf with lights in partnership with the following youth sports user groups: Portland Youth Soccer Association, Washington Timbers Soccer Club, Northeast United Soccer Club, Portland City United Soccer Club, Southeast Soccer Club and High School Coed Rec Soccer Club.
The Portland Timbers are members of the top professional soccer league in the country, Major League Soccer. They enjoy a rabid following for their extraordinary fans and exceptional play.
The Portland Thorns FC plays in the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL). They are in their inaugural season and setting league attendance records.