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What is the blue field outside the Richmond Olympic Oval?

New outdoor sports areas are being built outside the Richmond sports facility.
New artificial blue field outside the Richmond Olympic Oval.

People walking past the Richmond Olympic Oval might have noticed a new bright blue field just outside the facility.

The 4,200-square-metre blue turf, called “The Fields,” at River Road and Oval Way, is the latest addition to the Oval.

Also being built as part of the project are three half-court basketball courts, an outdoor fitness area and event-hosting facilities.

While most artificial turfs are green, blue was chosen for The Fields because of its vibrancy and consistency with the Oval’s colour theme, explained Andrew Clark, spokesperson for the Richmond Olympic Oval.

Clark told the Richmond News The Fields project lot was made available to the Oval by Richmond city council to “improve the previously underutilized space.”

“While the space has always been used by the Oval, external contributions provided the opportunity to improve the once seasonal grass amenity into a year-round world-class sport, fitness and event plaza,” he said.

Clark added that more than 90 per cent of the total project cost was from external sources with no funding coming from the city.

The 2023 Oval operating budget, which went to city council earlier this year, included an “estimated” $1 million in external funding for The Fields project.

Priority usage is for Oval-run programs or community sport groups, but when it’s not in use, it will be open to the public.

When asked why artificial turf was chosen instead of real grass, Clark said it is due to its durability.

“They can handle year-round use when other fields need to be closed in the winter due to prolonged rainy weather and freezing,” he said.

He added the field can be used for training and small-sized competitions for sports like soccer, football, field hockey, baseball or softball, lacrosse and rugby.

The Fields is currently being used, but an official opening event will be announced soon.

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