Soccer field is expected to be completed by Dec. 25

Although there has been plenty of talk about renovating the field at Rio Hondo, there is no denying that the soccer field is under construction, after reports surfaced that it did not meet proper NCAA and FIFA regulations earlier this year.

Something had to be done to give the Roadrunners a home field as they would advance to the playoffs and give them a home for the future play.

The completely renovated field is expected to be finished on schedule by Dec. 25 of this year.

“The field at Rio Hondo was originally laid out as Football field with a track around it” said Steve Hebert, Dean of Kinesiology, Dance and Athletics.

The football field is regularly laid out at 100 yards in length, not counting the end zones and 53 1/3 yards in width.

That is slightly different than that of what is expected of an NCAA regulated soccer field which lays 100 yards in length but a little bit wider, at 60 yards in width.

Not only is the field being properly fitted to meet the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) regulations but it is also being upgraded to a synthetic turf.

Like I said, for a year the coaches, players and staff were willing to play off campus to get our existing facility upgraded.

— Steve Hebert

Synthetic turf is designed to provide safety for the athletes on the field, high performance and exceptional durability that cannot be found in traditional grass.

It also minimizes wear and tear, maintenance, and is more cost efficient in the long run. This synthetic turf will keep the field capable of being used all year around.

There is a term commonly used in the world of sports and that is, “home field advantage,” which the Rio Hondo Roadrunners do not have the advantage at this moment as they have to travel to an alternate location to play their “home” games.

Despite not having a “Home Field” the Rio Hondo Roadrunners have done a great job playing their home games at an alternative field at Smith in Pico Rivera.

“Our players can stand on their heads for a year. It’s ok, they know the light at the end of the tunnel is we will have a real nice soccer stadium at the end of this year,” said Hebert when speaking about the relocation of the soccer teams during construction.“They are off campus right now and we are very fortunate that Smith Park in Pico Rivera has accommodated their practices and game needs. They have been very happy with that facility.”

Hebert continued by saying that, “Nevertheless you do want to have the facility in your care so that practices, preparations and everything that is leading up to the actual game or event is in your control. When you have to rent a facility you never have that control. It’s just not as conducive to running a successful program. Like I said, for a year the coaches, players and staff were willing to play off campus to get our existing facility upgraded.”

The fields unavailability for the schools graduation ceremony earlier this year caused quite the commotion however the teams loss of a home field advantage was hardly felt. The completion of the field is expected to be welcomed news when the soccer field is finally completed and ready to be utilized.