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Field of dreams: Details on CapU Squamish campus plan for soccer field upgrade

FIFA-grade turf field will be installed in preparation for the women’s national soccer championships in the fall.

If you build it, they will come.

That’s the dream for the upcoming soccer field upgrade at the Squamish campus of Capilano University, which is spending $1.1 million to convert the existing field into FIFA-grade turf this summer. The goal is to be able to host the 2024 Canadian Collegiate Athletic Association (CCAA) Women's Soccer National Championship in September,—a key element in putting the institution on the map country-wide—and to do that, you need a pretty nice field.

“Hosting national events in Squamish brings exposure to the entire town. It’s something that signifies what it means to be a university town. To host the entire country and bring that national spotlight is very important for us. It’s part of being recognized as a Sea to Sky institution,” Brian Storey, associate vice president of  CapU Squamish, told The Squamish Chief. 

The existing field was in poor shape when the campus was purchased in August of 2023, and topped the list of priorities to renovate and improve. The project will include repairing the fencing surrounding the playing area, repairing and improving the access points, and completing routine maintenance that has been neglected since Quest University closed in the spring of last year. The new turf field will be all-season, and appropriate for a variety of sports and all kinds of user groups. 

Construction is scheduled for completion by late September, just in time for the championships in November.

The event is expected to attract over 200 athletes and coaches. According to CapU director of athletics and recreation Georgette Reed, this field change was both necessary and welcome.

“The current field is due for an upgrade, and this is the perfect time to make it happen. We are also thrilled that this field will remain as a legacy of this event to serve the soccer community in Squamish after the tournament concludes.”

As for Storey, he’s daydreaming about how this field will impact the community. When classes begin for the campus’ first-ever semester, things will be looking greener. And for people who hope to book the field, the university will be introducing a reservation process later in the fall. 

“The field upgrade will allow people beyond campus to have access to high-quality facilities, and it will bring some vibrancy back,” said Storey.

“Seeing the students using that field again will be really great.”

**Please note, this story has been corrected to make it clear that the current field is turf, not grass.