Baltimore County will open an indoor soccer field tomorrow in Dundalk, the fourth of five regional parks dedicated in the past year.
Dundalk is widely considered the soccer capital of the county. The $3.9 million arena should enhance that reputation when it opens as Southeast Regional Recreation Center at 4021 North Point Blvd. An onsite dedication ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.
The arena's playing surface is 75 feet by 175 feet, with an Astroturf field and National Hockey League-style safety-glass walls around it.
"The county along with the state did a great job working together to develop something positive for young people in this part of the county," said Neil Magnes, Southeast Area recreation program coordinator. "If we can keep kids around here active and off of the streets, the potential is there to make a difference in their lives."
The air-conditioned arena has bleacher seating for more than 150 people and nearly 100 parking spaces. It will be the site of an indoor soccer league with games beginning in January. Lacrosse lovers plan a 16-team indoor league, to begin this month.
Athletes must show up dressed to play because the arena lacks locker rooms.
"Personally, I think it is all positive. There just isn't anything negative about it. That brand-new facility replaces an old strip mall where businesses always struggled just to stay afloat. From a business standpoint, it is nice, but for the kids and community, it is really great," said Gary Howell, owner of Rounding Third, a sports memorabilia shop across the street from the new regional center, and a 36-year resident of Dundalk.