Sudbury's first soccer bubble ready for kickoff

The Rainbow District School Board is getting ready to kick off the opening of Sudbury’s first indoor soccer bubble.

Plans for long-awaited, $4.1 million indoor sports facility almost scuttled by province last year

RDSB director Norm Blaseg stands on the turf of Sudbury’s new $4.1 million indoor soccer bubble. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

The Rainbow District School Board is getting ready to kick off the opening of Sudbury's first indoor soccer bubble.

Lasalle Secondary School is unveiling the new turf field at an open house tonight. 

Norm Blaseg, the school board's director of education, said the $4.1 million dollar sports dome was a long time in the making and represents the work of an entire community.

"This is a first step for us and it's a first step for the community and we're really excited by it," Blaseg said. "Not only does the community want to be using it for soccer but there they're looking at other possibilities, so there's tremendous interest."

Blaseg credited the work of board trustees as one of the primary factors in getting the facility built.

"It wasn't an easy order to land here," he said. "So we're very excited about the fact that we finally arrived and I would have to applaud our trustees because they went through some tough, tough, tough patches there in order to arrive at where we are today."

Blaseg also said he wanted to be clear that the Rainbow District School Board is the owner of the dome, and that they are treating the facility as an extension of Lasalle.

"It is on Lasalle, it is an extension of Lasalle," he said. "Think of this as a gym. This is no different than that."

Dino Moretta, chair of the Fabio Belli Foundation, outside the sports bubble when construction began in the summer. (Casey Stranges/ CBC)

Fabio Foundation Chair Dino Moretta said he feels a sense of accomplishment seeing the bubble this close to completion, especially as his group went through some "ups and downs" throughout the campaign to get the dome built.

The foundation, named after late city councillor Fabio Belli, pushed to bring an indoor soccer bubble to the city. They will now act as a liason of sorts, bringing together players and teams from sports that don't have full league infrastructure.

"In terms of community engagement that's something that we're taking on," Moretta said. "Just today I spoke to a doctor who runs a cricket league and we're trying to see how we can get them to come in and use [the bubble] either for a tournament or for league play."

"We want to work with different users that may not be aware or not sure if they can work it into their budget," he said. "That's kind of what we want to do, is be the face and continue to make sure that it's fully booked and that all sectors of the community here have an opportunity."

Moretta said the foundation also hopes to soon begin a fundraising campaign, with the goal of replacing the old field houses leftover from an ice rink on the same property in the 70s.


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