saskatoon soccer fans

Italy fans watching today's match against Costa Rica. (CBC)

Saskatoon's Italian Cultural Centre is using peoples' love of 'the beautiful game' to build into the future.

It's opening its doors throughout this year's World Cup as a fundraiser.

After years of work, the Cultural Centre officially opened its doors two months ago. 

Purchased in 1980, the 17-acre parcel of land on the outskirts of Saskatoon is now home to regulation-size bocce courts, and a terrace with a small vineyard.

"Getting back to our roots, getting back to our familes, that's a big thing for us," said organizer Vern Fior. "And the Italians, we want to maintain that, and it's a good place to come together and enjoy the community, really."

Fior says the group would eventually like to build soccer fields on the land, along with a baseball diamond.

Right now, Fior says they're trying to spread the word about the new centre, and get more people using it.

Love of the game

People at the Italian Cultural Centre say Italians have a very well-known love of soccer.

"It's everything," said Cultural Centre member and fan Angelo Frassetto. "Our culture revolves around it, everybody plays it, everybody follows it. You'll even see, if you go to Italy, if you just have a pickup game, you'll have an audience."

And it's not just Italians getting into the spirit. Columbian native Jefferson Bohrquez came out to the centre to watch today's match between Italy and Costa Rica.

"I really love soccer," he said. "And I really love how Argentina plays, Brazil, the Italians, and that's why I'm here, because I think it's a beautiful game."