Facility to include grass fields, fieldhouse
Toronto FC will have a permanent home to practice out of when a new $17.5 million academy and training facility is built in Downsview Park.
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The 14-acre state-of-the-art complex will serve as the primary practice, training and development facility for Toronto FC and its Junior and Senior Academy teams.
The Toronto FC Academy and Training Facility will include three grass fields (one heated), one FieldTurf field with a bubble and a 40,000 square foot fieldhouse that will house locker rooms, training facilities and team offices.
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and Toronto FC will invest $17.5 million to build the facility and will pay annual rent to Downsview Park.
Construction is set to begin in May. Construction of the fields is expected for completion in April 2012 and the field house in May 2012.
"This is really good for Downsview Park," said Bill Bryck, president and CEO of the Sheppard Avenue and Keele Street park. "Our long-term goal is to be financially sustainable. They (Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment) believe this is a landmark facility, a one of a kind facility in the world. This is the kind of tenant we want and the type of attention it brings."
Downsview Park was selected to host the facility following a year-long search which included an open call request for proposal process.
Bob Hunter, executive vice president of venues and entertainment for Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said the search for a suitable location was driven by space requirements.
"We wanted a multitude of fields," he said. "Eleven communities were interested but Downsview was the preferred location. Most of the other sites were outside the city and Downsview Park is a great location for us."
Although the facility won't be ready for a year, Hunter said Toronto FC will train at Downsview Park this summer on a temporary field adjacent to where they plan to build.