Bakersfield residents and visitors from around the state will soon be able to enjoy expanded athletic fields and amenities at the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village in Southwest Bakersfield thanks to a $3 million federal matching grant and money from the Public Safety & Vital Services Measure.
The City has been awarded a $3 million Land and Water Conservation Fund grant administered through the National Park Service. Grant money will go towards completing Phase IV of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village. This project was one of just seven statewide that was recommended by the California Department of Parks and Recreation to the National Park Service.
The LWCF grant requires the City to match that $3 million, meaning $6 million will go into relocating five football fields, converting the previous youth football fields into four new soccer fields, as well as building a restroom and concession stand, parking, sports field lighting and more amenities at the complex. The matching funds will come from the PSVS Measure (also known as Measure N), which was approved by voters in November 2018.
Without the Measure funds, the City could not have pursued or received this grant.
The additions to the complex will help the City continue to meet the growing demand for youth sports facilities in the City.
The first phase of the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village opened in 2011 with eight lighted soccer fields, followed by four more soccer fields and two youth football fields in 2013. The passive area with playgrounds, shaded picnic tables, group reservation area and over a mile of paved walkways opened last year. This summer the City of Bakersfield, along with Kaiser Permanente, opened the lighted Stadium Field which is currently being reserved for youth football. The Kaiser Permanente Stadium Field is available for reservations by field sports groups.
Located along Taft Highway between Ashe and Gosford Roads, the Kaiser Permanente Sports Village is a 170-acre regional sports complex that, when completed, will include active and passive recreation areas, indoor sports and meeting facilities, as well as multi-purpose trails, restrooms, concessions and picnic areas. Statewide and Regional sports tournaments will be attracted to the multisport complex and create more revenue streams for the City of Bakersfield.