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Durham officials aim to add additional soccer fields

Posted March 17, 2015

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— Santiago Parra's daughter plays on two Durham soccer teams, but on weekends, the eighth grader must travel to Holly Springs and Cary to compete.

"She practices five days a week in the school and three days on the club," Parra said.

Durham soccer players say the city has fallen behind when it comes to the number of soccer fields, forcing players to compete outside the city.

Durham City Councilman Steve Schewel said city leaders are working to address the shortage.

"We are so behind in Durham when it comes to the number of fields that we need," he said. "No question."

David Fellerath, an avid soccer player and member of the newly formed Durham Soccer Council, said the group is advocating for new fields at Twin Lakes Park, located on Chandler Road near Southern High School.

"It's very difficult for Durham players to have places at home to play and they find themselves traveling to Raleigh and Cary," Fellerath said.

Adding three fields at Twin Lakes would allow between 3,000 to 4,000 people to play each week, he said. The estimated cost of the project is $15 million.

"Part of that is they need to cut a new road. A new access road to the fields," Fellerath said.

The project is necessary because they city is not on par with its neighbors, Schewel said.

"Durham, in terms of fields we provide for soccer and other sports, we're just not up to the mark and we need to do it," he said. "It's going to be expensive and we need to figure out ways we can do it."

Durham would need to add 14 fields to compete with Raleigh, Winston-Salem and Greensboro, said city leaders, who added that new soccer fields ranked third among the city’s 10 most important capital projects.

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