The City of Omaha will soon build its first synthetic turf soccer field.
The synthetic turf field will take the place of the regulation-size grass soccer field at Tranquility Park.
While primarily for soccer, the lit field could be used for football, lacrosse and other sports. It’s set to be built this year.
The project is part of a push to make the northwest Omaha park a major soccer complex and hub for tournaments, said City Parks Director Brook Bench.
Mayor Jean Stothert said that the city has saved up money for the project and that the field will be “state of the art.”
“We would like to have more of the bigger games in the state,” Bench said.
“It will be a very, very nice field,” he added.
Tranquility Park, near 120th Street and West Maple Road, is already home to nearly 20 grass soccer fields, plus baseball fields and tennis courts.
The grass fields are used a lot, but turf would be used more, Bench said.
“It can rain 2 inches the night before and you can still play,” he said.
A proposal by the then-Omaha Multi-Sport Complex called for synthetic turf fields at Tranquility, but the proposal fell through. That multisport complex is now planned for La Vista.
Other such fields in Omaha include Creighton University’s Morrison Stadium. Its primary tenants are Creighton’s soccer teams. It also hosts the state high school state soccer tournament.
The city’s artificial turf field also could be used for several youth games at one time, Bench said. And it will include seating for several hundred people.
The project is estimated to cost about $750,000 and will be paid for from fees paid by the Nebraska State Soccer Association.
Bench said the money has accumulated for several years “to where we could do something significant.” The turf won’t require the mowing and irrigation maintenance of a grass field.
“We were saving to make an impact on the soccer world,” Bench said.
The city expects to get bids back in a couple of weeks and will try to get the field built as soon as possible.
Councilwoman Aimee Melton, whose district includes Tranquility Park, praised the project for an area that welcomes thousands of kids each year.
The city has plans to eventually widen 120th Street between Fort Street past West Maple Road.
“Little by little, we’re making the area more usable and for more people,” Melton said.