A new synthetic turf sports field built over six years ago will open on Saturday, October 2 at El Dorado Park West.
The field, measuring 210 feet by 315 feet, is considered a multi-sport facility, but was built primarily as a soccer field. It is located at 2700 Studebaker Road, south of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Ocean Administration Building, and has been under construction for seven months.
The grand opening ceremony, at 10 a.m. on Saturday, will increase the capacity of the playing fields and reduce water consumption, said PRM director Brent Dennis. El Dorado Park is the fourth artificial turf field owned by the city – the others can be found at Molina Park, Seaside Park and Admiral Kidd Park.
“Originally he (El Dorado) was one of the first, but the others went ahead,” Dennis said. “Then the school district was really aggressive with their artificial turf fields. Football is so popular now, and that’s a plus, without a teardown period like with natural grass pitches. “
Grass football pitches must now be taken out of play for six to eight weeks each year to be reseeded. It also takes more water to grow the grass seeds.
The El Dorado field has been the subject of debate for over a decade. In early 2010, the American Youth Soccer Organization 177 offered to help pay for the lights if the city added them to the El Dorado pitch – a proposal that was ultimately scrapped in the face of opposition from residents.
Then, in the 2014-2015 budget, the city council approved $ 4 million to convert football fields to synthetic turf in order to reduce water consumption and increase the game. El Dorado was targeted as first draft, but residents objected again, this time complaining about the proposed crushed rubber infill and a fence to protect the playing surface.
After several public meetings, the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended the use of a cork and sand filler instead of rubber, which some have linked to health concerns. But activists continued to oppose elements of the El Dorado project, including the fence and proposed lighting.
In the end, Fifth District City Councilor Stacy Mungo agreed to allow construction of the other fields first while she continued to meet with residents.
“This renovated land will be a great asset to the community,” Mungo said on Monday. “The public awareness process was extensive, lengthy and expensive, but the result is a gem for the community. “
Changes resulting from these discussions include the use of boulders to surround the land rather than a fence. This will protect the field from vandals in vehicles, while still allowing pedestrians to access it even when not in use. In addition, no lighting was installed.
When city council approved the contracts for the project, the budget was $ 3.1 million. The actual cost of the construction was around $ 2 million, according to public works director Eric Lopez. Another approximately $ 750,000 was spent on project costs.
Mungo said his accounts showed nearly $ 500,000 was left from the project on the ground. This money will be transferred to help pay for the refurbishment of the duck pond near the El Dorado Park golf course. Measure A money and the Fifth District Discretionary Public Works Fund paid for the project on the ground.
“One special thing about the funding,” said Lopez, “is that we’ve set aside $ 158,400 for grounds maintenance. That will cover eight years of synthetic turf maintenance, and that’s a good thing.
Once the land is open for use, it will be programmed via Parks, Recreation and Marine like all the other sports grounds in the city.
For more information call 562-570-3204 or email [email protected].