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Expansion a goal for Olympic Soccer & Sports Center

This schematic shows the proposed location for a second regulation-sized indoor soccer field.  - Courtesy of Olympic Soccer & Sports Center
This schematic shows the proposed location for a second regulation-sized indoor soccer field.
— image credit: Courtesy of Olympic Soccer & Sports Center

There is certainly a demand for more space at the Olympic Soccer & Sports Center located in the Pendergast Regional Park complex.

“One of the toughest jobs we’ve got here is turning down teams that want to play,” said OSSC co-owner Steve Lawrence. “We’ve had to turn down over 100 teams (in the past two years).”

A proposed solution is on the table and awaits approval by the Bremerton City Council, likely within the next two months. The proposal is for an addition to OSSC, a second regulation-size indoor soccer field which would add about 2,000 square feet to the facility. If approved, Lawrence said he hopes to have the field ready to go by Nov. 1.

The current facility includes one regular-size field with a smaller one next to it which is used by youth teams under the age of 10. In all, about 240 teams in 24 leagues are currently using the indoor arena, the only facility of its kind on the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas. Players range from ages 3 on up to septuagenarians.

Soccer is easily the most-played game on the synthetic rubber in-fill surface, but by no means the only one. Softball, T-ball, disc golf and dodgeball have also used the complex.

“The dodgeball tournaments have been really successful. The expansion would allow more and more tournaments,” Lawrence said. “I think its (popularity) came with the popularity of the movie ... and of the game because of its (simplicity). At some level, anybody can plug themselves in and play. People requested we sponsor a tournament and so we went ahead and did it.”

The ability to plan for a major expansion shows OSSC on the whole has been successful. The facility opened in January 2001 with an eye on additions from the beginning.

“The goal was to provide facilities that made sense to a community on a peninsula,” Lawrence said. “Right now, it looks like the most positive location to do that is here. It’s a central location.”

Lawrence said the arena draws in players from as far as Chimacum, Shelton and Gig Harbor.

“Soccer is growing in leaps and bounds. You can play anywhere from a recreation game to a family league to junior high, high school, co-ed, over -30s, over-40s,” he said. “One of the neatest things is the 3 and 4-year-olds learning to understand the game and be able to grow in it so quickly.”

Lawrence, his wife Nancy, and two other couples, Barb and Larry Smith along with Late and Dennis Mitchell, form the partnership that owns and operates the complex. Lois Stromberg is the facility manager.

“Lois is the heart and soul around here,” Lawrence said. “Extremely knowledgeable and she’s a very community-oriented individual.”

The three couples came together when others within the soccer community realized they were all pushing for the same thing, an indoor facility in Kitsap County.

‘Our philosophy with everything we do in here has been to accommodate as many people want to play and have fun,” Lawrence said.

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