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Artificial Turf Feasibility Study

Indoor turf facilities are becoming increasingly common throughout Ontario. The City has undertaken a feasibility study to look at establishing and artificial turf facility in Owen Sound.

In January of 2018, Council approved a new Recreation, Parks, and Facilities Master Plan for the City. 

In the stakeholder engagement and public consultation completed as part of the Recreation, Parks, and Facilities Master Plan, it was clear that there was a strong public desire for a multi-use turf field that could be developed with a seasonal bubble.

Indoor turf facilities are becoming increasingly common throughout Ontario.  The closest full-size turf fields are located in Barrie and Guelph (approximately 120 km east and south, respectively). 

 As encouraged by the Master Plan, the City, in partnership with Owen Sound Minor Soccer Association (Minor Soccer), developed a working group to prepare the background and deliverables in an RFP document. The RFP was issued in August of 2021, and the project was awarded to RC Strategies at a total cost of $20,000 (each partner contributes $10,000). 

A staff report was presented and subsequently approved by Council. Report CS-22-033 from the Director of Community Services Re: Artificial Turf Study

Based on input gathered through consultation with potential project partners, feedback from potential sports field users, and demographic and best practices analysis, the following general conclusions are noted:

  • There is evidence of sufficient demand for both an outdoor and seasonal indoor artificial turf field to serve a catchment population within 30 minutes from Owen Sound.
  • Victoria Park is an ideal location for an outdoor and seasonal indoor artificial turf field so long as it can be situated over the existing natural turf football field.
  • The financial sustainability of the project is significantly enhanced if the City and Minor Soccer partners with a school board that can utilize weekday daytime hours and assists with capital development and operating costs.
  • Assuming a partnership with a school board is possible, all outdoor and indoor field operating budget scenarios are net positive.
  • The rounded, estimated capital cost of indicated capital items required for full-size soccer and a full-size soccer/football field is $1,195,000 and $1,520,000, respectively.
  • The incremental, estimated cost of providing a 1/3 field air supported seasonal dome over either of the outdoor fields is $1,067,000. The 1/3 field seasonal dome is sized for anticipated utilization.

The Draft Feasibility Study along with a presentation was provided by RC Strategies and the City of Owen Sound at the Community Services Committee Meeting March 16, 2022. 

Preliminary Feasibility Study for an Artificial Turf Field - RC Strategies

Artificial Turf Field Feasibility Study Presentation 

The last section of the draft feasibility study is the conclusions and next steps.  The key next step is to formalize a process through which the City and partners can agree on a general framework to advance a future capital project further.  The following six next steps are outlined in the full study:

  1. Structure a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City of Owen Sound, the Owen Sound Minor Association, and other parties with a material interest in the successful development of an artificial turf field development project. The purpose of an MOU is to establish shared project development principles, roles, and procedures for advancing the project.
  2. Visit comparable sites to acquire additional development and operational insight and learn from the experiences of other facility operators.
  3. Further investigate a limited number of existing site conditions indicated in this report's Preferred Site Program & Amenities section.
  4. Revalidate potential field user groups’ outdoor and indoor field time requirements. Ask potential user groups to provide a formal letter of commitment specifying its’ time requirements and to provide a board resolution declaring a commitment to utilizing the requested time if it were to be provided.
  5. Seek infrastructure funding and capital grants from government and non-government sources to assist with upfront capital.
  6. Remain open to alternative site development locations that could not be reasonably anticipated at the time of this study. Apply the site location considerations and business case projections used in this analysis when updating the business case to consider alternative sites, should they present.

For more information respecting the project, please contact the Community Services Team at 519-376-4440 ext. 1256.  


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808 2nd Avenue East,
Owen Sound, ON
N4K 2H4
Phone: 519-376-1440
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