OCEANSIDE — The opening day of the Soccer Club of Oceanside, better known as the Oceanside Breakers, will be held at Mance Buchanon Park this year. Hopes were the temporary soccer fields at El Corazon would be ready for Opening Day Aug. 16.
The original schedule for the city to restore and grade 50 acres for the fields was postponed after a project cost estimate of $4.5 million was considered too high. Plans were reworked to drop costs to $1.4 million.
A developer was hired for the city portion of the project, and work has moved along quickly.
Restoring the former mining site, grading the fields and putting in the parking lot was estimated to take 300 days and is near completion in 180 days.
“We completed the field portion, and the parking lot will be done at the end of this month,” Abraham Chen, city associate engineer, said.
The next steps are for Sudberry Properties to install sprinklers, roll out sod and give the grass two months to settle. Sprinklers are currently being installed.
“In the next couple of weeks they’ll be laying sod,” Doug Eddow, city real estate manager, said.
Delays from the original projected completion date have caused upcoming SoCal Sports and Soccer Club of Oceanside tournaments to be relocated.
Opening Day ceremonies for the Oceanside Breakers will be kept at Mance Buchanon Park where they have traditionally been held.
Opening Day will bring together 135 boys and girls recreation and competitive soccer teams. Players range from age 4 to 18.
“It’s huge,” Anthony Benvenuto, Soccer Club of Oceanside president, said. “There’s a parade of teams. The mayor and other members of the council open up the 2014-2015 soccer season. There are booth fundraisers.”
Recreation teams will play their first games from 10 a.m. through 9 p.m.
There is also a parents versus coaches game, and team pictures will be taken.
During the season the Oceanside Breakers will use fields at a number of parks and schools.
El Corazon fields are expected to be ready for play in November.
Benvenuto said he has not been given a date the Soccer Club of Oceanside can begin to use the fields.
Space is sorely needed to accommodate additional recreational and competitive teams that were added this year.
“I hope they have the new complex open,” Benvenuto said.
The agreement between the city, Sudberry Properties and SoCal Sports is that the Oceanside Breakers will be able to use five of the 22 fields when SoCal tournaments are not being held.
This includes most weekends and weekdays during the club’s soccer season.
The Oceanside Breakers will also have sole home field use of El Corazon, which allows the club to raise funds by operating snack bars during games, tournaments and SoCal tournaments.