RIGA - Riga is officially home to the Baltics' first dome-covered soccer field. Riga Mayor Aivars Aksenoks attended the stadium's grand opening on Jan. 11, commencing the event by passing the first soccer ball to a lucky young player. "Now that the dome-shaped roof has been installed, it will be utilized at once. Young players can now practice in ideal temperatures and climatic conditions all year long," said Raimonds Lazdans, director of the youth football center JFC Skonto, which uses the facility.
The Riga City Council allocated 571,700 lats (813,460 euros) to purchase the dome, and then leased it to JFC Skonto for a period of one year with an option to extend the lease.
"With this new stadium, our young soccer players can train year-round to compete on the European level," the mayor said at the opening ceremony.
The dome-shaped roof is supported by computer-controlled air pressure supplied by the Dutch company Poly Ned Export B.V.
"I am glad that more and more modern facilities for children's sports are opening in Riga," said the Riga City Council education, youth and sports committee chairwoman Baiba Brigmane.
In addition to 500 young football players from JFC Skonto, the covered football field will also be used by boys and girls from the Riga city children and youth football program, as well as trainees from the Riga Football School.