Minneapolis, MN – The first-ever North Central University Homecoming Extravaganza kicked off today with a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new $1.2 million, NCAA III-regulation soccer field that NCU helped build in partnership with the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Alumni, students, staff, and faculty gathered in droves to witness the historic occasion covered by camera crews from Twin Cities affiliates of national television networks.
“Partnerships matter,” Hennepin County Commissioner Peter McLaughlin told the crowd. “What we’re trying to do is build the 21st century community. A great community occurs because people roll up their sleeves and get the job done. We’re celebrating that here today.”
“We had a park board that cared, we had a university that cared, we had a county that cared, and we had a community that cared,” added Elliot Park Neighborhood Executive Director Lynn Regnier. “And everybody worked together to make this happen.”
Located directly across the street from North Central’s historical Miller Hall, the 70 x 115-yard, synthetic turf playing surface serves both as the home field for North Central University Rams soccer teams, and as a playing and training ground for residents of the Elliot Park neighborhood. The space also provides a venue for city soccer league competition, large-scale neighborhood events, inner city health and wellness programming, and more. Drawing the attention of the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District, the new field has even been nominated in two categories for Minneapolis DID Downtown Greening Awards.
“In sports activity you have a scoreboard that shows a winner and a loser,” observed North Central University President Gordon Anderson. “This soccer field is about sports, but today is not about winning and losing. It’s about winning and winning and winning and winning. There are many winners in this collaboration: the neighborhood, the students at North Central, local businesses, and all of the people who make up this great Elliot Park neighborhood. Isn’t it great that we can come together and celebrate a win for so many.”
Homecoming attendees also enjoyed a BubbleBall soccer tournament, live music, campus tours, tailgate and block parties, and NCCAA soccer competition between the NCU Rams and the Finlandia Lions.
North Central University is a non-profit, private, Christian university serving 1,300 students in the heart of Minneapolis. Offering more than 120 academic programs in the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Fine Arts, College of Ministry, and College of Missions, North Central also offers advanced educational opportunities through its graduate studies program and the Institute for Biblical and Theological Studies.