Wilson Playfields' re-opening celebration to feature Seattle Impact FC
Dedication Saturday, September 6, 10 a.m.
KENT, Wash. – August 11, 2014 – Wilson Playfields’ new multi-use turf fields are finally ready for play, and the public is invited to celebrate the official re-opening at a dedication on Saturday, September 6, at 10 a.m.
Coinciding with the annual Youth Soccer Jamboree, attendees will be able to meet and get autographs from star players from the Seattle Impact FC, Kent’s newest professional soccer team.
“What a great way to celebrate kids’ first games of the season on this beautiful new turf,” said Parks Director Jeff Watling. “Soccer is already big here in Kent and giving young players a chance be able to meet some of the pros adds to the excitement.”
Announced in June, the Seattle Impact FC is part of the Major Arena Soccer League, a newly formed league with 24 teams in both the United States and Mexico. Home games will be played at the ShoWare Center starting in November.
Seattle Impact FC owner Dion Earl says he’s really pleased to be part of the complex’s official re-opening. “My future star players may be on the field,” he joked.
Wilson Playfields is the city’s only park with synthetic turf fields. Originally installed in 2002, the turf held up well, according to Watling.
“Over 1,550 games and competitions are held there annually. But after 12 years of constant use, the turf needed to be replaced,” Watling said.
“We're pleased that, working with the mayor and council, we were able to pull together the funding to make this project happen,” Watling added.
Park system trade-offs
The $1.8 million turf replacement project was funded using $500,000 from the general fund, $800,000 from real estate excise tax, and the remainder from delaying other park improvement projects identified in the capital improvement fund.
“While we celebrate this re-investment in our park system, the reality is that other needed repairs are going undone. The deterioration of our park facilities is happening at a faster rate than our current funds can address them.
“Unfortunately, we are preparing for the reality that, within the next year or so, we will have to close off some our most popular park features when they get to the point that they’re just not safe for the public to use,” Watling said.
Wilson Playfields, named for Kent Parks’ first director, Barney Wilson, is located on the city’s East Hill at 13028 SE 251 Street. The lighted synthetic turf fields are lined for baseball/softball, soccer, flag football, Lacrosse, and rugby. Youth track and field events are also held there. A picnic shelter/restroom building, playground, public art and parking complete the athletic complex.
Contact:Victoria L. Andrews, Kent Parks, Recreation & Community Services
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