Kino Sports Complex North improvements expected to be finished by November 2013.
By H. Jose Bosch
Tucson, AZ — Soccer is known for the colorful call and response chants that sometimes echo around a stadium’s walls. So it was only fitting that during the groundbreaking for the new Kino Sports Complex North Stadium, someone would rise up to lead the crowd in a chant of its own.
“Let’s try and do something together: I’m going to say something and I want you to repeat it,” said Pima County Supervisor Richard Elias.
“Our field!” Our field.
“Our place!” Our place.
“Our home!” Our home.
Mr. Elias repeated the calls one more time before adding, “For all of you young people, this is your field. For FC Tucson, this is your field. For all of us who live here and make this our home, this is our place.”
The crowd of soccer fans gathered to watch the groundbreaking ceremony were sitting on the site of the future home of FC Tucson; an 1,800-2,000-seat stadium that will include an overhang to provide shade for fans and trap in the crowd noise to create an intimidating atmosphere for visiting clubs.
But lost in the excitement of the stadium groundbreaking are the other improvements being made to the North side of Kino Sports Complex: a sixth field is being added, a new entrance is being constructed and new bathrooms and concessions stands are being built. The improvements will not only enhance the FC Tucson match day experience but it will also benefit youth soccer clubs according to FC Tucson Managing Member Greg Foster.
“It’s just the beginning,” Foster said. “We finally have a proper home for youth soccer in Southern Arizona. And it’s youth soccer, adult/amateur soccer and professional soccer. We have a great place to play and a great place to showcase soccer as a spectator event.”
Large construction equipment sat idle in the background while moms, dads and children took part in the ceremony themselves. They grabbed shovels, dug up dirt and took pictures of it all.
But beginning on Friday, April 26, the rest of the construction equipment arrives and what was the site of soccer fans, players and coaches milling around will be torn up to place the foundation of a new field. A new place. A new home.
“Opening day 2014 I see a stadium that is packed to the gills,” said FC Tucson Chief Business Officer Chris Keeney. “Everybody is wearing black and wearing FC Tucson shirts. Singing songs, chanting (and) everybody with the same rhythm and the same music. I see flags. I see people beating drums and (they) are just all in.
“And then I see our team taking the field against our … opponent and seeing the vibration of the stands and seeing that feeling of everybody pulling for them. And then I see four goals. I see a 4-0 win and I see the next phase of a gorgeous relationship.”