Soccer federation could re-apply to run southeast centre

Mayor Naheed Nenshi says the Calgary Soccer Federation could re-apply to operate the southeast soccer centre if it makes organizational changes. The federation is upset its lease has been cancelled in this week's announcement of city funding for a new dome.

Calgary's mayor says federation must clean up its act first

The City of Calgary says the Calgary Soccer Federation can re-apply to continue as operator of the southeast soccer centre.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi said the soccer federation has had organizational difficulties, but is welcome to apply for a new licence to manage the soccer centre.

"If they are able to sort their issues out and apply to be the operator I can’t see why we wouldn’t look at the application fairly," said the mayor.

The city announced funding Wednesday to replace the dome roof of the Subway Soccer Centre, which collapsed twice - once in November 2010. The new roof will be a solid structure. (CBC)

The Calgary Soccer Federation has operated the publicly-owned centre for 20 years. However, the city cancelled the licence when it announced new funding this week for the southeast soccer centre.

The City of Calgary will provide $5.23 million needed to rebuild the annex at the Subway Soccer Centre, and it will help develop a strategy to raise another $5 million.

The original dome structure has collapsed twice, most recently in November 2010. It will be replaced with a solid structure.

Federation rejects city critics

Angus Smith, president of the Calgary Soccer Federation, said the soccer community welcomes the new funding from the city, but said they were frustrated with the decision to cancel the federation's operating licence for the soccer centre.

"We’ve created the interest; we fill the building almost year round," said Smith.

"Our community feels like they've been flushed down the toilet."

Smith also disagreed with the mayor's assessment of his organization. He said a report by the city identified some minor issues related to governance and he said they have been rectified.

Smith did not say if the federation would re-apply for a licence to operate the southeast soccer centre.

The soccer centre’s operations provide much of the funding for the Calgary Soccer Federation, said Smith.

According to the city, the Calgary Soccer Federation has spent $770,000 on the project to date.

Construction of the new annex is expected to take eight to 10 months.