An opening ceremony will be held for the newly constructed Futsal Court at Fox Field on Thursday, August 5, from 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM. The event will feature remarks by Mayor Kate Snyder, City officials, neighborhood groups, as well as a futsal demonstration by the Kennedy Park Football Club.
Futsal is a soccer style sport that involves two teams of five players (one of which is a goalkeeper) that play on a lined hardcourt surface. The game uses a smaller, heavier ball that does not go airborne as easily as a conventional soccer ball. The ball, court style, and rules all lead to a type of game that emphasizes improvisation, creativity and technique that comes from more ball control and passing within small spaces.
Portland has a diverse and talented soccer and futsal community, with several supporters and a grassroots organization in Kennedy Park called the Kennedy Park Football Club (KPFC) that has been utilizing makeshift futsal competitions on the existing basketball courts. Now that the Futsal Court has been substantially completed, groups like the KPFC and others, including residents and fans of the East Bayside Neighborhood, can have a dedicated court space to strengthen their substantial skills and build their creativity and love of the game with Portland friends.
R.E. Coleman led the construction efforts of this new facility in the fall of 2020, with an effort to get the foundation and drainage systems in before winter. Work picked up again in May of 2021, and with some additional elements like on-demand court lighting before 10 pm, the project concluded before the 4th of July, and has been hugely popular with players and neighbors alike. Futsal players now have a space that dries out quickly from rainy days with top quality goals and official line markings for a useful training facility, and when not in use, children can find a safe, enclosed area to practice bicycle riding or have a game of tag if the fields are wet.
The court features 7,200 square feet of playable surface space. It has a perimeter of black vinyl coated chain link fencing on all sides, with 12’ tall fence segments on the ends behind the goals. Two regulation size goals and nets anchor the court baselines. Team benches are built on the field side of the court, and three entrances have been made for easy access. An on-demand LED court light was also brought into the project from the City of Portland's Sustainability Office, allowing button activated lighting for night games during park hours and shutting off automatically by 10:00 PM.
The Futsal Court project was initiated by the City’s Parks, Recreation and Facilities Department. The project received major funding and support from Portland's Housing and Community Development division through their federally funded Community Development Block Grant Program.