A new six-acre stadium will soon be available for community use at the developing Kaiser Permanente Sports Village.
The city of Bakersfield is unveiling the new $2.2 million multi-use stadium with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday. Mayor Karen Goh, City Manager Alan Tandy and others will speak at the event, which is also expected to include some kids activities.
The new gated stadium is built largely for football and soccer games but can also accommodate other field sports, according to the city.
“It looks great. Everything came out as expected,” said Diane Hoover, director of the city’s Recreation and Parks department. “We’re happy with the way things are progressing at the Sports Village.”
Hoover said the stadium includes terrace seating that can accommodate more than 2,000 people as well as premium LED lighting and a multi-sport scoreboard. The stadium will be watered using reclaimed water.
City Councilwoman Jacquie Sullivan, whose ward includes the Sports Village, said Friday she’s excited to see the stadium.
“It’s going to be a great day,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the ceremony.”
Work on the stadium, which began in March 2018, was paid for through a combination of funds, including the city’s capital outlay fund and park improvement fees, according to the city.
With the new facility, local teams in the American Youth Soccer Organization and Golden Empire Youth Tackle Football and Cheer will be able to use a stadium that doesn’t belong to a high school or college.
“We’ve been asking, hoping for something like this for a decade. Our families couldn’t be more ecstatic,” said Ron White, commissioner for Golden Empire. “There’s a shortage of field space in this county, so what (the city) is doing is unprecedented in how it’s serving so many. This is a game-changer for our organization.”
White said the stadium is unique due to its multi-use functionality and design, which he said will give the teams a lot of space to work. White said he also appreciates that it will be a fully lighted field, which teams haven’t always had.
“This field gives us flexibility in how we play our games, when we play them,” he said. “It’s different than other fields because it’s wider than it is long. I don’t know of any stadium with that kind of layout in the county. It’s state-of-the-art.”
The stadium is part of the third phase of the Sports Village, a 222-acre complex that opened in 2011. Since that time, the complex has more than a dozen fields for football and soccer as well as a concession stand, playgrounds, restrooms and picnic areas.
“The facility is wonderful,” Sullivan said. “It’s well-planned, well-maintained. I’m delighted to have it in Ward 6. It’s a real asset to our city and improves the quality of life.”
Hoover said more construction is expected at the complex in the future. There are plans for a community center, more sports fields and basketball courts.
“When funding becomes available, that’s when we’ll finish building it out,” she said.
Hoover said the city is pursuing grant funding to help pay for the rest of the development. There is no deadline for completion of the project, she said.
Use of the new stadium will be by reservation only. To make a reservation or for more information, call 326-3866.