Team Evanston, a youth soccer club, has opened a 30,000 square foot training facility at 2025 Dempster St.
It features five turf soccer fields, offices and meeting rooms and will host training sessions over the winter months and when inclement weather prevents kids from practicing outdoors. It will also be the home office for Team Evanston's coaching and administrative staff.
"This is a big deal, not only for Team Evanston, but for all of Evanston’s young athletes," said Matt Tobin, Team Evanston's president. "Outdoor practices end in early November and don't start up again until April, so this facility allows athletes to develop and train locally during those months.”
Time allowing, Team Evanston also hopes to make the facility available to other sports organizations in the area and to groups wanting to hold special events such as parties and corporate functions.
Evanston Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd ward, said he envisions the new facility having "a huge economic impact on the businesses around the Dempster-Dodge area,” he said. “When indoor practices are conducted in other communities, families spend money in those communities. Now they will be spending that money in Evanston.”
The facility features state-of-the-art lined turf fields, goals, powerful lighting, netting to easily divide practice areas, and ample office and meeting space. The club is also considering the addition of a weight/training room in the future.
Issac Moushi, Team Evanston’s director of coaching, says, “It is great to have a place that the coaches and I can call home. We’ll be able to hold training year-round, despite what Mother Nature throws at us. We can also host clinics, 3v3 tournaments, and specialized training,” such as core fitness and/or weight training.
"This is the first facility of its kind in Evanston," said Lander Brown, an Evanston board member who was instrumental in developing the facility in a former warehouse. "Previously, players had to practice in school gyms or drive an hour to train in comparable facilities in other communities.”
About 600 girls and boys between the ages of 6 and 18 from Evanston and neighboring communities participate in Team Evanston's programs.
Its 40 teams play in competitive travel leagues across the Chicagoland area as well as in local, regional and national tournaments.