The Blaine City Council announced the approval of the master plan for field expansion at the National Sports Center in early October. This approval means the facility will see 20 new sports fields very soon.
The project was originally put in front of the council in June. It includes a two-phase plan to use the 80-acre property between 105th and 109th avenues. This is found east of the current soccer fields and the land is owned by the Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission. This is a state agency.
NSC received $3.2 million in funding from a state bond bill in 2014. This funding will allow the facility to construct eight of the 20 fields in the plan, along with driveway accesses, landscaping, parking lots and ponding.
Twelve more fields are expected as the second phase of the project. These fields won't come with as high of a cost because most of the infrastructure will be covered with the construction of the first eight fields. However, the second phase of the project will include a new turf maintenance building, access drives from 105th and 109th avenues, paving the parking areas and access from Davenport Street. An eight-foot-wide paved trail will also be a part of the second phase.
The land they will use for this project has been a mining pit for over ten years. About 30 acres was, at one time, considered for what was going to be called SportsTown USA, but the development company wasn't able to get the project completed.
The first eight fields will be constructed on the northern half of the land, while the other 12 will be added to complete the project later. Funding for the second phase has not been received just yet.
The fields will be used for many sports including:
- Ultimate Frisbee
Lacrosse is the one sport singled out by the city council because it's growing so much in the area. The city wants to make NSC the state center for lacrosse just like it is for soccer and other sports.