After a major turf-installation project that started last fall and resumed after then snow melted this spring, the new artificial turf fields in the National Sports Center (NSC) Stadium are finally ready for play.
The contractor finished filling in the rubber and sand infill over the past weekend, a project that was delayed a month later than expected due to our severe April weather. The NSC officially assumed control on Monday, and on Wednesday, the NSC agronomy staff was busy painting field lines.
Outdoor grass fields
Some doubted it would ever come, but spring has arrived at the National Sports Center. The outdoor grass fields will open for the season this weekend, Saturday, May 5, for the Spring Cup soccer tournament.
This will be the first outdoor soccer played this season at the National Sports Center. Three outdoor tournaments previously scheduled in April -- Boys’ and Girls’ College Showcases and Bloom Cup 3v3 – were cancelled due to the inclement weather. And one -- Kick-Off Challenge -- was rescheduled, to May 18-20.
There is much to be done to get the fields ready – field lines need to be painted, trash and recycling containers delivered, and picnic tables installed inside the field manager shelters. But the NSC operations staff promised the campus will be ready for kick-off Saturday morning.
Yes, there are still lingering piles of snow on the edges of parking lots and in the shade of buildings. But the snow largely melted off the outdoor areas of the National Sports Center (NSC) campus on Tuesday, April 24. The loud bang you heard Tuesday afternoon was the firing of the starting pistol – not to immediately open the campus to all activity, but to begin work to prepare the campus for opening.
Here’s a run-down on the frantic activity of the past few days, and what to expect over the next week or two as we work to bounce back from a tough winter and resume full outdoor operations:
Stadium turf fields
It’s now real!
The National Sports Center’s first serious foray into court sports is underway.
The new beech-wood courts from Junckers Hardwood in Denmark, were delivered on April 20. The court fixtures, including NBA-style portable backboards, automated motorized overhead volleyball nets, scoreboards and shot clocks, were trucked in the same day.
Annual tournament at the Schwan Super Rink raises funds to benefit breast cancer research
Blaine, Minn. (April 18, 2018) – The 50 teams playing in the 20th annual Stick It to Cancer hockey tournament at the Schwan Super Rink, April 13-15, knew they were playing to raise money and awareness to fight breast cancer. They didn’t know they would also be fighting Mother Nature. But when nearly 20 inches of snow fell over the tournament weekend, that’s what happened.
Playing conditions inside the rinks were great. Driving to and from the arena, not so much.
Tournament staffer Spencer Arvold even took to Facebook after the tournament wrapped up to announce, “Next weekend we are starting a new tournament called ‘Stick it to Mother Nature.’”
But in credit to the players, referees, volunteers and staff managing the event, as hostile as the weather was outside, it didn’t dampen the sentiment of the weekend. Everyone knew they were playing for a higher cause, the fight against breast cancer.
“We are the fortunate ones,” said Chris Hansen, parent of 11- year old cancer survivor and player Adyson Hansen. “We are at the Stick It to Cancer tournament, and I have a daughter who stuck it to cancer.”