Two new pitches to meet top international competition standards, create
legacy for community
TORONTO, Nov. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - Grass playing fields at the University of Toronto (U of T) will
transform into two world-class field hockey pitches to host one of the
world's most popular sports during the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games,
organizers announced today.
Known as the Pan Am Field Hockey Centre during the Pan Am Games, the
project is jointly funded by the Government of Canada and the
University of Toronto. The fields, located at the university's St.
George Campus, will open in July 2014—a year before the start of the
"These state-of-the-art, water-based turf fields will ensure athletes
who compete here during the TORONTO 2015 Games have a world-class field
of play," said Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer of the TORONTO 2015
Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
"We're also creating an amazing legacy facility for the U of T Varsity
Blues women's team who have dominated field hockey nationally and
provincially for decades, as well as doubling the number of these
specially constructed water-based fields in the Greater Toronto Area."
The new Pan Am Field Hockey Centre, with temporary seating for up to
2,000 spectators, will house two international Global Class 1 pitches—a
warm-up pitch and a competition pitch—to host all levels of the game.
Global category pitches are the standard required by the International
Hockey Federation (FIH) for all international competitions.
Currently in Canada, there are six international grade water-based field
hockey turfs that are suitable for international competition and have
been updated in the last five years. Of those six, five are located in
British Columbia and only three are capable of hosting international
Water-based turf fields are irrigated before, during and after games in
accordance with international sport federation regulations. The
wetted-down turf reduces friction on the ball and creates an ideal
field of play.
The sport is also growing, with an estimated 15,000 field hockey
athletes across Canada. Thirty per cent of these athletes are located
"This new facility is an eagerly anticipated addition to our sport and
recreation infrastructure," said Ira Jacobs, Dean of the Faculty of
Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. "It
will be a tremendous legacy not only for our student athletes and
high-performance competition, but for all U of T students and community
members who enjoy a range of recreational pursuits on the field."
In July 2015, the Pan Am Field Hockey Centre will host both the men's
and women's field hockey competitions, which are both qualifiers for
the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.
"The Harper Government is pleased to announce funding for the Pan Am
Field Hockey Centre in the heart of downtown Toronto," said the
Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "This fall, our men's
and women's teams claimed silver in the Junior Pan American field
hockey tournament held in Mexico. This facility will help foster the
development of field hockey in Canada and build on their success for
2015 and beyond."
In September, Infrastructure Ontario awarded the construction and
financing contract for the Pan Am Field Hockey Centre to Bondfield
Construction Co. Ltd. through a public tendering process. Bondfield is
also responsible for the Markham Pan Am and Parapan Am Centre and a
venue in Etobicoke.
"The McGuinty government is investing in the 'People's Games' to drive
economic growth, build our communities and boost sport," said Charles
Sousa, Ontario Minister Responsible for the 2015 Pan/Parapan American
Games. "The Pan Am Field Hockey Centre will ensure that future
generations of Ontarians have access to a world-class facility. This
will enable our high performance athletes to train and compete at an
international level on home turf."
"As Host City for the 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games, we look
forward to welcoming athletes to this state-of-the-art facility," said
Toronto Mayor, Rob Ford. "The Pan Am Field Hockey Centre will provide
much-needed sports fields for young athletes and help the city attract
future national and international competitions."
Since the 1960s, the University of Toronto has led the development of
field hockey in Canada. Its men's and women's teams have won numerous
championships and groomed players for Canada's Olympic and national
Current head coach, John De Souza, won a Pan Am silver medal in 1995 and
was the assistant coach for the gold-medal-winning men's team at the
Rio de Janeiro 2007 Pan Am Games. Beth Ali, the university's Director
of Intercollegiate and High Performance Sport, spent six years on the
Field Hockey Canada national team coaching staff and represented Canada
at the 2003 Pan Am Games in the Dominican Republic.
The overall project costs for this facility are anticipated to come in
at $9.5 million, which includes $6.25 million to build and finance the
project. The remainder is comprised of capital expenditures for
equipment, transaction fees, project management and other ancillary
costs. The project is on budget and phased construction will start in
During the Parapan Am Games in August 2015, the venue will be known as
the Parapan Am Soccer Centre when it hosts football 5-a-side and
football 7-a-side competitions.
Last spring, TO2015 announced the cluster and sport program for the
TORONTO 2015 Pan Am Games. At that time, it also announced details of
the budget for both Games. TO2015 will issue quarterly budget updates
starting this fall.
About the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games
The Pan American and Parapan American Games are one of the world's
largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for
athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports
Organization (PASO) and 26 member nations of the Americas Paralympic
Committee (APC). The Pan American Games are comprised of all Olympic
Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports, while
the Parapan American Games are comprised of the majority of Paralympic
Summer Games sports. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American
Games will draw more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials
and feature 51 sports in municipalities across the Greater Golden
Horseshoe area. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place
July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more
information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Communications Advisor, TO2015