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Loudoun Soccer unveils state-of-the-art turf fields

photoTimes-Mirror Staff Photo/Beverly Denny Loudoun Soccer Park off of Sycolin Road in Leesburg will have its grand opening in the spring. The artificial turf allows for playing in the rain.

On Sept. 15, Loudoun Soccer began a new chapter with the opening of the Loudoun Soccer Park.

A project three years in the making, the Loudoun Soccer Park boasts two lighted 118 by 74 yard FieldTurf Revolution fields.

Unlike normal grass fields, turf fields are largely weather-resistant and can be used in rain and cold weather with limited adverse effects.

“In order to train, we used to have to find fields in Fairfax and Germantown, Md.,” said Craig Koch, the director of business operations at Loudoun Soccer. “There’s a definite need for higher-level surfaces.”

The project’s inception began nearly three years ago, as a joint effort between parents and coaches of Loudoun Soccer players.

“About three years ago some parents of Loudoun Soccer players were talking with some of our staff and the need for high-quality turf fields came up,” Koch said. “The question was: why don’t we have turf fields and what would it take to get them?”

While there are two high school turf fields at Tuscarora and Woodgrove high schools, Koch says the available times are limited.

“We wouldn’t have access until late at night or times in the year when we don’t need them,” Koch explained.

So, three families, the Hogans, Pauls, and Schenks, created the Blue Ridge Sports Academy entity to finance the $6 million field construction. The group purchased a 12 acre property off Sycolin Road in Leesburg in 2009 and began construction of the park in January.

Phase one of construction, which was completed in September, included the building of the two turf fields, part of a parking lot and the facility lighting. Phase two, which is estimated to conclude this month, will feature a garage, a concession stand and a bathroom. Construction is also underway for a smaller, Bermuda grass field and Loudoun Soccer will be moving its headquarters to the new park. Though the facilities are currently in use and the fields had a “soft opening” in September, a grand opening event is tentatively scheduled for spring of 2013.

Loudoun Soccer is leasing the venue from the Blue Ridge Sports Academy group, but hopes to own the facility at some point within the next year.

The field itself is already getting plenty of use. In addition to Loudoun Soccer, which uses the field for both recreation and travel level teams, Ashburn Youth Football League, Central Loudoun Youth Football League and i9 Flag Football are also making use of the facility. Loudoun Soccer has introduced a seven on seven adult soccer league to make use of the fields in the evening as well.

For more information on the field, its activities and sponsorship opportunities, visit http://www.loudounsoccer.com

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