Bellevue College Athletic Director Bill O’Connor, together with the soccer coaches, made the decision to move the soccer facilities from the Bellevue College campus this year. Instead, home games will be played at Robinswood Park as well as the Starfire Soccer Complex.
“This decision wasn’t spur of the moment,” O’Connor said. “We made it with careful planning and deliberation.” O’Connor states several reasons for the move, but it all boils down to one crucial factor: the Bellevue College field is simply inadequate to host the game. The mud under the grass makes the field extremely slick when it rains. With Seattle, Wash. getting over 150 rainy days a year, this clearly presents an issue to the athletes.
“There are big safety issues with playing on a field that is slippery,” O’Connor said. Even with cleats, soccer players can easily fall on wet grass. This could lead to sprained ankles, a broken leg or even spinal or neck trauma. Even without player injuries, matches can be cancelled on game day if it is determined that the field is unplayable. These cancellations disrupt the structure of the season, and are considered generally bad news by just about everyone involved. Assuming matches aren’t cancelled by poor conditions, players can’t achieve their full optimal performance that they trained for because they can’t get proper traction on a wet field. With the AstroTurf on the fields in Robinswood Park and Starfire Soccer Complex, players can play better and safer games.
Although the venue changes are undoubtedly beneficial to the players, this may affect spectators’ attendance.
Since Robinswood Park is across the street, fans will not find travel time to home games much different. However, Starfire Soccer Complex is over 12.5 miles from Bellevue College.
O’Connor acknowledged that these conditions are not ideal and said that there are “definitely plans for renovations to facilities.” We can expect an official update as soon as the year ends.