Ribbon cutting ceremony marks opening of new futsal court in Rockwood

September 28, 2015

Chair Kafoury with Ricki Ruiz. The new futsal court at Vance Park was Ruiz’s idea.
Chair Kafoury with Ricki Ruiz. The new futsal court at Vance Park was Ruiz’s idea.

Last week, community partners, local leaders and Rockwood residents celebrated the grand opening of a new futsal court at Vance Park.

The former abandoned 28,000-square-foot roller skating rink now features a new court with acrylic surfacing, a green grass court and beige outer boundaries.

Snake Court (Sports, Neighborhood, Action, Knowledge and Empowerment), housed in the Rockwood neighborhood on S.E. 182nd Ave., provides a safe environment for youth to play.

The celebration kicked-off with guest speakers, including Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Gresham Mayor Shane Bemis, Portland Timbers CEO Merritt Paulson, Operations Pitch Invasion’s Shawn Levy and City of Gresham intern Ricki Ruiz.

“I’m tremendously thankful for the strong partnership between Multnomah County and the City of Gresham and to be part of this important project,” said Chair Kafoury to the large crowd on Tuesday afternoon. “This truly shows how grassroots community vision, with support from the public and private sector, can result in an amazing resource for youth and families.”

Portland Timbers’ Diego Valeri kicks the ball around with community youth at the new futsal court in Vance Park. Photo by Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers

21-year-old Ruiz spearheaded the project with the help of the City of Gresham, Multnomah County and AC Portland.

“It brings a delightful feeling being able to see young kids displaying their skills and being able to have fun while getting some exercise,” said Ruiz. “It is important to advocate for health and exercise, but at the same time we want to stay committed to this site and invest for the future of this community.”

The Portland Timbers and Operation Pitch Invasion covered the $100,000 cost as part of their Fields for All program, along with other sponsors.

After the ribbon cutting ceremony, Timbers players Diego Valeri and Liam Ridgewell signed autographs and a youth soccer tournament was held.

“Snake Court will give kids in our community a safe place to play and to grow,” said Chair Kafoury.

Snake Court Hours:

  • Fall: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Winter: 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

  • Spring 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.

  • Summer 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.