LONDON, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -10/21/11)- BMO Financial Group and the London Optimist Sports Centre today officially opened the new $10 million BMO Centre. The new 110,000 square-foot soccer and sports facility will be used by more than 500 teams, playing in kids, men's, women's and mixed soccer leagues, with more than 600,000 people expected to pass through its doors each year.
"As the Bank of Soccer in Canada, we at BMO are proud and excited to have played a part in this new community facility," said Susan Brown, Senior Vice President for Ontario Regional Division, BMO Bank of Montreal. "We believe that by building stronger communities, we provide real social benefits and add value. An important part of that commitment is our support of sport, where communities and athletes of all ages can come together."
Located in downtown London, at 295 Rectory Street, the BMO Centre will house four indoor playing fields, a club house, meeting rooms and an elevated walking track. The fields can also be converted into one regulation size soccer field - all under one roof. The new facility will provide opportunities for a wide variety of user groups, focusing on soccer but accommodating a number of other sports. The elevated walking track will broaden the usage of the facility giving parents and seniors a year-round venue for activity.
"Today is an historic day for our city," said Tom Partalas, President of the London Optimist Sports Centre, the owners and operators of the new facility. "Today marks the beginning of a new era for indoor sports in London, Ontario. The new BMO Centre will further enhance London's reputation as a sports tourism destination and is a facility in which all Londoners can take great pride."
London's Mayor Fontana joined in the official opening and brought best wishes on behalf of the city. "This sports centre is just another example of how our community plans together, pulls together and invests together to improve the quality of life for all Londoners. The City of London is proud to be a partner in this outstanding facility and thank you to the London Optimist Sports Centre for leading the way and to BMO for their sponsorship."
About BMO in London
Since its first branch opening in London in 1877, BMO Financial Group has been committed to the community. BMO provides major donations to institutions such as the University of Western Ontario, the Fanshawe College Foundation, Robarts Research Institute and the King's College Foundation. Most recently, BMO pledged $1 million to the London Health Sciences Centre.
In addition, BMO supports London's soccer community and currently sponsors nine different teams with the NorWest Optimist Club.
About the London Optimist Sports Centre
The London Optimist Sports Centre (LOSC) is an incorporated not-for-profit organization that was established in October 2004 and which serves the recreational needs of thousands of children and adults in the region. LOSC owns and operates the premier, state-of-the-art soccer and sports facility in London, the new 110,000 square-foot BMO Centre.
About BMO and Soccer
BMO supports soccer across Canada, from youth players in local neighbourhoods and communities, to the professional level. Our deep commitment to "The Beautiful Game" is evident with our grassroots sponsorship of more than 950 youth teams nationally. This relationship continues with the bank's support of Canada's men's and women's national teams, professional teams (Toronto FC, Montreal Impact and Vancouver Whitecaps FC) and our soccer venue title sponsorship (BMO Field).