Soccer players in Winnipeg are getting a brand-new, FIFA-certified soccer pitch in the city's Garden City area.
The $20.5-million expansion of the Garden City Community Centre will include a 120,000-square-foot indoor field that can be split into four smaller fields, as well as a fully-lit outdoor synthetic turf field.
Construction begins this fall with the facility completed for 2015 indoor soccer season.
The province is paying $8.15 million and the city contributing $7 million, with the Winnipeg Soccer Federation kicking in $5.4 million.
The new indoor facility will complement an existing indoor soccer facility at the Garden City Community Centre as well as two new indoor ice rinks currently under construction there.
It was also announced Wednesday that the new outdoor field will be used as one of the training fields for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015. Winnipeg is one of the six host cities for 2015 World Cup.
"The popularity of soccer is continuing to grow steadily in Winnipeg, and with this investment we continue to meet the demand of our citizens and provide year-round access to recreational facilities across the city that citizens of all ages can enjoy," Mayor Sam Katz stated in a news release.
it's a high-energy game that is exploding in our city," added MLA Kevin Chief, Manitoba's minister of children and youth.
"Building new soccer facilities has put Winnipeg at the forefront of Canada's host cities for the FIFA Women's World Cup Canada 2015. That means that for many years to come Winnipeg will attract more world-class events like the Women's International Soccer friendly [on Thursday]."
The Canadian women's national soccer team is playing an exhibition game against the United States team at Investors Group Field on Thursday.
"This exciting partnership is a terrific step in the Winnipeg Soccer Federation's plans to meet its mandate of providing top quality facilities for the growing participation in soccer and other green-field sports," said Peter Muir, chair of the Winnipeg Soccer Federation, said about the new soccer complex.
"We are very excited that the province and city recognize the benefits of fitness and the self confidence that are built through the beautiful game."