Kitchener Soccer Club is reacting positively to news that 4 soccer fields in the city will be taken back by a developer to build a proposed big box mall at Budd Park.

President Franck Hivert tells 570 News it’s an opportunity to discuss a number of options and ideas with City of Kitchener staff. The city is looking at building 4 new fields or possibly converting 2 current fields to artificial turf.

Hivert says 2 artificial turf fields, while more expensive in up-front costs, would be able to replace the loss of 4 fields because they can be used more than 5 times as much during the season without the wear and tear that happens on grass field.

He says he’s not surprised developers gave the required 2 years notice to move ahead with a proposed big box centre at the park near Homer Watson and Bleams Road. Hivert adds the soccer club won’t be impacted in the short term because they’ll have use of the 4 fields until August 2014, but if they aren’t replaced they will have scheduling issues.

The synthetic fields, Hivert says, would be the biggest benefit allowing for more playing time for a soccer club that has seen a 50% increase in players over the last 4 years alone.

More than 6,000 players are registered with Kitchener Soccer Club, making it the largest sports organization in the region. Hivert adds that number will grow by almost 1,000 in their 2014 season.