Toronto FC Picks FieldTurf For BMO Field At Exhibition Place
Major League Soccer’s newest expansion team will play on FieldTurf in 2007, it was jointly announced by Bob Hunter, Executive Vice President, Venues & Entertainment, Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and John Gilman, FieldTurf Tarkett CEO. Toronto FC will become the first Major League Soccer team to opt for synthetic turf in a soccer-specific stadium. One of the main reasons for selecting FieldTurf is to be able to maximize soccer programming at BMO Field without destroying the playing surface; thereby making the facility available for usage 365 days per year through the use of a winter bubble enclosure.
Major League Soccer granted Toronto a team in October 2005 after an agreement was reached to build a permanent soccer stadium at Exhibition Place in the city. Toronto FC will play an instrumental role in growing soccer and has formed pivotal relationships with the Canadian Soccer Association and Ontario Soccer Association to further develop the sport.
“We are delighted that Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment and Toronto FC have put their faith in our product,” said John Gilman. “The players, coaches, and fans will find that FieldTurf is a more consistent surface for soccer than natural grass and the players will enjoy truer rolls. Our turf will also add an aesthetic value at BMO Field. I would like to thank everyone associated with the team for selecting FieldTurf and would like to assure everyone in Toronto that the turf system at Canada’s first professional soccer-specific stadium is, without question, the best in the business.”
“We think it’s important, and a really good sign that we see more and more professional soccer teams taking artificial playing surfaces seriously,” stated Bob Hunter. “In selecting FieldTurf, I think it’s a positive step toward player safety and consistent playability. FieldTurf’s latest product features a fiber that is more durable and looks and stands up more like real grass. The players like playing on it and for good reason. Speed of play is a major component in the development of soccer players and what we are getting is a high-quality proven surface that is ideal for soccer.”
BMO Field at Exhibition Place will serve as a permanent home for Toronto FC and the Canadian National team. It will also be accessible to community youth and adult soccer leagues. The stadium will open in time for the 2007 Major League Soccer season and the facility will also play host to the FIFA Under-20 World Cup Championship in July 2007, an event that will garner an audience of more than 600 million worldwide. A large audience is also expected when legendary soccer icon David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy play their first Major League Soccer match on the FieldTurf pitch at BMO Field on August 5th. Beckham’s appearance in Toronto and his scheduled visit to BC Place Stadium on October 3rd for an international friendly against the Vancouver Whitecaps is expected to draw an enormous amount of media coverage.
The FIFA U-20 World Cup Canada 2007 marks the first time in its history that FIFA has designated its second most important event, after the FIFA World Cup, to be played on artificial grass. FieldTurf is delighted that 13 matches in total including the opening match with Canada, a quarter-final and a semi-final game, and most important of all, the Championship Final will be played on the most technologically advanced product in the industry. The world will be watching on July 22, 2007 and they will see the newest World Champions crowned on FieldTurf.
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