Two years after the Ryerson Ram’s hockey teams scored an arena at the Mattamy Athletic Centre, Ryerson’s soccer teams are still in need of a home field.
“We’ve been able to bring all of our other teams together in the Mattamy Athletic Centre and that next piece is to secure a place that our soccer teams can call home,” said Stephanie White, Ryerson’s associate director of athletics.
Ryerson President Sheldon Levy said that Ryerson is “always looking for spaces.” Although he mentioned that the school is talking about a joint effort with the city, he said the challenge is finding a field in close proximity to Ryerson.
Levy also said the benefit of having a home venue is the inevitable boost in student involvement.
“What we have seen with the Mattamy Athletics Centre is such a significant increase and engagement of students,” he said. As for Central Technical School, he said the field is “not too bad, but not as close as I would like,” adding that too much distance from campus will “prevent students from participating.”
Last year, Ryerson’s men’s soccer team placed second in the country. The playoffs were held at Birchmount Stadium in Scarborough. Levy said the number of Ryerson students in attendance was minimal.
“If we had a close field and we were in the provincial championship we could have had hundreds and maybe thousands,” Levy said.
Aside from playoff matches, Ryerson plays its home games at Monarch Park Stadium. There’s a possibility that Ryerson will seek to continue this tradition, according to White.
“We would love to be back at Monarch Park; that worked out pretty well this past year,” White said. “I think we’re hoping that they would love to host us again if we don’t have our own field.”
Razor Management, Inc. is the company that built the field at Monarch Park. The facility includes a varsity track and seasonal dome that allows teams to operate year round. There are also new washrooms and change rooms.
“We essentially have all the pieces of what Ryerson needs to make Monarch Park their home field, if that was something (of) interest,” said Matthew Raizenne, president of Razor Management.
“If we had a field it would be so much easier. Things would run more smoothly not to mention help out with recruiting a little,” said Alex Braletic, captain of Ryerson’s men’s soccer team. “I don’t see one single negative in us having a home field; I think it is about time we got one.”
With no decision in sight, students and athletes will have to spend a bit more time waiting for the university’s management to get on the ball.
The following map shows just how far the Rams have gone from campus to play on “home field”.