Southpointe sport fields fill growing local need
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With World Cup mania at a fever pitch this week, local entrepreneur Matt Giglotti is thrilled that he decided to take the leap and start his own soccer-related business six months ago.
Mr. Giglotti, 32, of South Fayette, opened the Southpointe Fieldhouse in December after he saw the need for a large, indoor practice field to accommodate the burgeoning number of local soccer and lacrosse teams.
"There was nothing like this in the Pittsburgh area," said Mr. Giglotti, a longtime boys lacrosse coach and former lacrosse player at Upper St. Clair High School and Penn State University.
Though there are other indoor sports arenas in the South Hills, none are like Mr. Giglotti's 100-yard by 50-yard permanent field, which is lined for various field sports, such as soccer, lacrosse and field hockey.
With an investment from mom Barb and brother Michael Giglotti Jr., both of Upper St. Clair, Mr. Giglotti designed and built the 45,000-square-foot indoor sports facility that features an advanced artificial surface called Field Turf.
Also used by the Pittsburgh Steelers and 21 other professional football teams for their practice facilities, Field Turf consists of 2 1/2- inch nylon fiber blades that are laced with recycled rubber pebbles and a sand mixture to create a cushioned surface made to mimic real grass and turf.
Already, the fieldhouse, located about a mile from the Southpointe mixed-use business park in Cecil, has hosted more than 1,400 local athletes.
They range from 3-year-olds who are learning to play T-ball through a local YMCA youth sports program, to 50 plus-year-old men in soccer leagues.
About a dozen school districts, including some from as far away as North Allegheny, use the facility for field practices, as do women's lacrosse teams from Duquesne University, the University of Pittsburgh and Robert Morris University.
Mr. Giglotti said this summer he plans to add batting cages to the facility, which is also being booked for football and soccer summer camps and for fitness boot camps.
Gary DeCock, owner and general manager of the Pittsburgh Select Lacrosse Club, said the fieldhouse was sorely needed.
"It has been a godsend," said Mr. DeCock, whose club held a tournament last weekend at the climate-controlled facility due to the threat of bad weather. "We had nothing available to us."
Mr. DeCock said his group also will host clinics and camps at the field house this year.
"We are using it as much as we can," he said.
Details: 724-747-4222 or www.southpointefieldhouse.com.
First Published June 17, 2010 12:00 am