Toronto FC and Kia Canada Inc. announced Tuesday that the automobile manufacturer has acquired the naming rights to Toronto FC’s Training Ground and Academy Program. Named the Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy, this state-of-the-art facility and soccer program will look to develop the next generation of Canadian players through coaching, training, technology, equipment and support.
“We’re excited to extend our relationship with Kia Canada to include Toronto FC’s training ground and Academy,” said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment. “Kia is a great global brand and their support for soccer across Canada has been terrific. This partnership with Kia for the Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy will support driving change for soccer at all levels.”
Located on 14-acres of land at Downsview Park, the Kia Training Ground represents a $21 million investment made by Toronto FC and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment in the future of Canadian soccer. After benchmarking some of the top soccer practice facilities in Europe, United Kingdom and North America, the Kia Training Ground will include three full size grass fields (two heated), four artificial fields, including two with air-supported bubbles for year-round use, and a 40,000 square foot field house that will have locker rooms, training facilities and team offices. There will also be a physiotherapy and rehabilitation area, private and cafeteria style dining, video presentation theatre and a full-time residence for Academy players.
“The Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy strongly continue Kia’s global commitment to soccer and take aim at the grass roots developmental stages of youth soccer athletes to provide them with the necessary resources to improve their skills and lead them to national and professional level play,” said Maria Soklis, vice-president and chief operating officer for Kia Canada Inc. “Being the automotive soccer brand globally, this new partnership continues our goal to become synonymous with the growth and development of soccer throughout Canada.”