The Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) welcomed today League1 Ontario, Toronto FC II and the City of Vaughan as part of the Grand Opening of the Ontario Soccer Centre Stadium that marked a new era for all three partners.
"The OSA wishes to thank our partners, League1 Ontario, Toronto FC and the City of Vaughan, not only for helping to make the Ontario Soccer Centre Grand Opening such a memorable day, but for their continuing efforts to help the association grow the game of soccer in this community and in the province," said OSA President Ron Smale. "Along with our renovated indoor facility, this outstanding outdoor stadium field will make the Ontario Soccer Centre one of the premier playing environments and development hubs in the province. It will be rewarding to see many of the young athletes who will compete on these fields go on to success in the years ahead with our national teams and beyond."
The outdoor facility now boasts bleacher seating accommodating 2,000 spectators and a FIFA 2-star quality turf. FIFA awards 2-star quality turf designations only for professional-level soccer fields.
"For League1 Ontario, which just hosted a Canadian U-20 ID camp here, we can now use this facility to showcase our best and brightest," said League1 Ontario Commissioner Dino Rossi. "We will use this facility to play host to our marquee games and act as a home for the development opportunities of our young players."
In addition to a League1 Ontario match between Toronto FC Academy and Master's FA Saints on the day, Toronto FC's USL squad took on the Charlotte Independence in front of a sizable crowd.
"On behalf of everyone at Toronto FC we are very excited to be part of the official grand opening of the Ontario Soccer Centre stadium," said Toronto FC General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. "Our partnership with the City of Vaughan and the Ontario Soccer Association has brought professional soccer to a very passionate and dedicated market in our province. As we continue toward our vision of becoming a leader in player development in North America, having a permanent home for TFC II is a giant leap forward."
In addition to an OSA hosted Grassroots Festival, a Canadian Soccer Hall of Fame Showcase and activities that were available for the whole family, Vaughan Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua was on hand for an official ribbon cutting.
"Vaughan is proud to be the home of TFC II and excited to host professional sports in the heart of our growing community," said Maurizio Bevilacqua, Mayor of the City of Vaughan. "Today's official opening is the realization of a dream I shared with thousands of soccer fans in Vaughan and beyond. We are all looking forward to the many memorable and beautiful experiences this new stadium will create. With Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment and the Ontario Soccer Association, the City of Vaughan has been an active partner in this journey. I would like to extend my gratitude and congratulations to everyone who has been involved in bringing this incredible project to fruition."
The grand opening of the new OSA field marks the end of the first phase of the Ontario Soccer Centre rebuild. The OSA will now work with MLSE to create further expansion of the facility as part of Phase 2 of the rebuild.
Media Contact | Photos available to media
Ben Rycroft | Ontario Soccer Association Communications Manager | 905-254-9390 ext. 255 | Email: email@example.com
About the Ontario Soccer Association:
Founded in 1901, The Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) is the largest provincial sports organization in Canada. Its members include more than 650 Clubs servicing over 24,000 teams with 380,000 registered players, 70,000 coaches and managers, and 10,000 match officials. The OSA develops and delivers exceptional and sustainable programs and services throughout Ontario with the mission of providing leadership and support for the advancement of soccer in collaboration and cooperation with our membership, partners and other stakeholders. The OSA also operates League1 Ontario, a provincial semi-professional men's and women's league as well as the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL).