SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Indoor sports facility
By Thom A. Fischer


December 17, 2007
Monday AM

This letter is for encouragement to parents who want more sports opportunities for their children. Building an indoor sports field would be one of the finest investments Ketchikan could make in its youth.

Sports activities not only provide the obvious exercise, teambuilding, and positive focus for our youth, but also provides lessons on how to win, lose, and come back and win again. Skills and attitudes learned through sports carry on throughout life.

Bellingham has an indoor arena called the Sportsplex . The Sportsplex was designed and built by Whitewater Engineering in about 1997, and expanded for indoor soccer in about 1999. The Sportsplex is 77,000 sq.ft., and has two 200'x85' rinks, one for ice and one for soccer, and a smaller 120'x60' rink used for either ice or soccer. Since the soccer expansion, the Bellingham Sportsplex gets over 400,000 participant visits per year. The main soccer field is busy seven days per week from noon till midnight. The ice rink is busy from 6 am until midnight, seven days per week. There have been concerts on the soccer field, auctions, arena football, trade shows, and of course soccer. Even though the Sportsplex was built for youth, adults use the facility more than the youth, and pay the larger share of its income. The Sportsplex is turning away soccer teams as indoor soccer has since grown to over 180 teams. The ice rink is full and sold out with 30 hockey teams and 275 youth figure skaters, and multiple other ice skating venues. In the winter there is indoor track & field training such as pole vaulting.

Indoor soccer develops better passing, ball handling, and shooting skills. Two years after indoor soccer side being in operation, Bellingham high schools have dominated the state championships, with one year, two Bellingham schools competing against themselves for 1st and 2nd place. Adult hockey players have their own local leagues, while youth hockey teams play in Canadian leagues. Figure skaters compete in northwest venues.

The indoor turf "Field Turf" is about 2" thick, with a mix of chopped rubber and silica sand as the base, and looks like grass. The turf is forgiving, and provides a much safer surface than the old carpets. This is the same turf that major football fields now use.

Yes, build it and they will come. Don't miss out on this opportunity.

For further information on the Bellingham Sportsplex, contact Marc Ronney at or 360-733-9999. We would be glad to provide any help we can give.

Thom A. Fischer
Tollhouse Energy Company
Bellingham, WA

Received December 15, 2007 - Published December 17, 2007


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