Whitecaps to train at SFU

April 29, 2004,
By Marianne Meadahl

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The Whitecaps football club is investing $3 million to build its national training centre at SFU. The centre will become the new home for the professional sports franchise and the Canadian national soccer teams. The facility will also be available for year-round use to SFU students, student-athletes and the surrounding community.

The investment by the Whitecaps is one of the largest private investments in SFU history. Plans call for the development of two lit turf fields and a field house for use by the Whitecaps men's and women's professional soccer teams and its youth teams. The Canadian Soccer Association men's, women's and youth national teams will also train at SFU.

The training centre will incorporate two of SFU's existing fields on the west side of the Terry Fox track. A new site for a private clubhouse is still being considered.

“This is historic for SFU because a privately owned professional sports franchise and one of Canada's leading universities have developed a partnership that will create a legacy of excellence,” said SFU President Michael Stevenson. “With the generosity of the Whitecaps investment and our dynamic new relationship with the organization and the Canadian Soccer Association, Simon Fraser University students, student-athletes and the surrounding community will benefit from these lit turf fields that will more than double our current available field use.”

“Our objective has consistently been to develop a strong club structure and this facility provides the foundation to serve that goal,” says Whitecaps owner Greg Kerfoot. “The centre will also provide a positive training atmosphere for Canadian soccer and establish Vancouver as the home of our national teams.”

The move brings to five the number of national programs that will train at the university, including Canada's national men's and women's soccer teams, the Canadian Olympic women's softball team and the Canadian men's and women's wrestling programs.

The centre is slated to open in October 2004. At the same time, construction of an $11 million fitness centre and gymnasium complex will begin this summer. Construction is expected to be completed by 2005.

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