'Nice to be back home': New UPEI turf hosts 1st games Saturday
Home openers come a little late, but field is now ready
Soccer players at UPEI are pleased to back on their home field with the completed installation of new turf on campus.
The university had to bow out of hosting a national championship in April when its aging turf field was deemed unsafe.
The first games on the new turf will be played Saturday, with the women's game starting at 1 p.m. and the men's at 3:15 p.m.
"We had to drive out to Stratford every day to train," said men's team member Harminder Singh.
"It's nice to be back at home."
FIFA certified field
The field was built with financial assistance from both the federal and provincial governments at a cost $850,000. Holland College also contributed to the new turf.
UPEI athletic director Chris Huggan said the new field is a step from what was originally planned, and one of the few FIFA 1 certified fields in the country. That extra-high quality will allows for the potential of hosting international events.
"It's a high grade turf with more cushioning than initially planned. Expensive, no doubt, but it's a high quality product," said Huggan.
The turf was not quite ready for the opening of the season, and players are looking forward to a proper home opener Saturday.
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