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Airdrie requests County funds for new Ed Eggerer turf field

City of Airdrie officials have been making the rounds to municipal governments in the last few days, requesting funds for the turf field that is currently being installed at Ed Eggerer Park.
The old grass surface of Ed Eggerer Field.

City of Airdrie officials have been making the rounds to municipal governments in the last few days, requesting funds for the turf field that is currently being installed at Ed Eggerer Park. 

Last week, Brad Anderson, the recreation manager for the City of Airdrie, was before the Rocky View Schools (RVS) Board of Trustees to ask for $600,000 in funding for the turf field project. On Wednesday, Anderson appeared before the Rocky View County (RVC) Recreation Governance Committee to make a similar request. 

“[The ask] of $600,000 presents an equal contribution to what was made in Cochrane and significantly less than what was contributed to Langdon,” Anderson said to the committee.

The $600,000 request would cover approximately 13 per cent of the total cost of the project, which is budgeted for $4.6 million. 

Anderson said the new field will service approximately 7,000 County residents, on top of the 35,000 or so Airdrie residents who will frequent the new field. 

“Approximately 7,000 residents will have access to the field,” Anderson said. “Ed Eggerer Field is already home to athletes in RVC’s north-central zone.” 

According to 2020 County statistics that Anderson presented to the committee, Genesis Place, the home to Ed Eggerer Field, sees the highest rate of visitation among all of the recreation facilities in RVC. About 33 per cent of the County’s residents use the facilities at Genesis.

Per 2023 Genesis Place visitation statistics, of the 28,599 Genesis Place users, 5,902 of them were RVC residents, second to only Airdrie residents (12,765) in total Genesis Place visits.

Anderson said the new turf field will allow for 615 additional hours of play. The field is considered a de facto home base for many RVS varsity teams. Anderson said that, although the City of Airdrie will be the primary caretakers for the field, RVS will still hold booking power over the playing surface. 

The Airdrie recreation manager made the pitch that the County’s investment is small compared to what the City of Airdrie is pouring into the project. Anderson argued that the field will benefit more than just Airdrie athletic teams.

“[The] City of Airdrie continues to shoulder the bulk of the capital costs, as I believe we should,” said Anderson. “As our municipal residents still stand to benefit the most.”

The committee voted unanimously to accept Anderson’s presentation as information. Division 3 Coun. and Reeve Crystal Kissel said that both the turf fields in Cochrane and Langdon, which the County helped to pay for, are attached to schools and are not a part of the operations of a recreation centre. 

Anderson responded that while Ed Eggerer Field is a part of Genesis Place, the field itself is primarily used by Airdrie and RVS for all their athletics programs, and that RVS would still possess managerial control over who uses the field. 

“We’re looking for an equitable partnership,” Anderson told the committee. “[A partnership] that would benefit County residents in their active lifestyles and the sport and school system.” 

The turf field at Ed Eggerer is currently under construction, and is expected to be completed for the start of the fall athletics season.

Later in the day Wednesday, the Recreation Governance Committee approved a grant of $277,500 for the artificial turf project at Ed Eggerer Athletic Park, which amounts to about six per cent of total project. Far below the 13 per cent the City had been asking for. 

--With files from Scott Rowan 

Riley Stovka

About the Author: Riley Stovka

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