Grand opening planned for Ladysmith turf field

  • Apr. 25, 2011 10:00 a.m.

What was formerly known as Lot 108 has a new look, new atmosphere and a new name.Now home to a state-of-the-art turf field, the parcel of land has been attracting a ton of attention from the community, especially sports fans.Pat Durban, director of parks and recreation, said the field has been open since November and demand continues to grow.“The comments we are getting from people who play on it say it’s the best on the Island,” said Durban.The international-size field has already seen plenty of action from soccer and football teams and is also attracting attention from others sports including lacrosse.Durban said teams who visit the field are always impressed with the extra width of the field.Among the most impressed, joked Durban, are soccer moms who have fewer muddy jerseys to wash.Now, the Mid-Isle Soccer Association is establishing a new premiere league team  called the Mid-Isle Highlanders FC and will call the new field homebase.Ladysmith is getting ready to officially open the new facility with a day-long celebration complete with the unveiling of the field, and street’s, new name.A celebration is planned for May 1, which will include the first game for the Highlanders against their Victoria Highlanders Super 20 rivals.That is not the only highlight for the day. There will be some youth games, a women’s game, an alumni game and, hopefully, a game between Ladysmith council and the Stz’uminus First Nation. The field will be available to rent and can be used in all types of weather, except excessive snow. The project price tag is around $3.2 million, said Durban, and is still awaiting playground, some paving, added parking and new ball parks.Fundraisers are also looking at building a multi-use, two-level clubhouse for people to watch the games and view some of Ladysmith’s sports memorabilia.