BREWER, Maine — The Seacoast United Blackbear soccer club finally has a home.
The club is leasing and renovating the former Pepsi-Cola plant in Brewer which will be outfitted with an indoor FieldTurf surface. The 10,000-square-foot facility, located next to the Bangor-Brewer Bowling Lanes on Wilson Street.
Playland Adventures and Xtreme Adventures are already in the building.
The facility will also contain a party room with a concession stand and the Seacoast United Blackbear staff offices. The grand opening is scheduled for Oct. 1.
It will be also be available for rentals and can be used for other sports and activities.
“We have our premier teams from U-11 to U-18 (age groups), our junior academy for 7-to-12-year-olds and our grassroots program for kids 4 to 6,” Hamel said.
Billy Shannon, the director of operations for Seacoast United Blackbear, and Hamel are ecstatic to have their own facility.
“We never had a place to call home,” said Shannon, who explained they have rented space at a variety of indoor sites, including Fields4Kids in Bangor, the Mahaney Dome at the University of Maine in Orono and the Point Lookout Resort and Conference Center in Northport.
“This is fantastic news,” Hamel said. “To say we’re excited would be an understatement.
“Over the last year, my house has been our office of operations, so to say my wife is happy would be an understatement,” Hamel joked.
Shannon said this supplies them with scheduling flexibility they’ve never had before.
“We’ll be able to run our programs without having scheduling conflicts,” Shannon said. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to grow the sport in the Bangor area. It’s difficult during the winter months because there are only a limited number of opportunities for the kids (due to the lack of indoor facilities).”
The surface itself will be 100 feet by 100 feet and Shannon and Hamel said they can divide it into two fields for small-sided games.
Hamel pointed out that the ceiling is 25 feet above the surface.
“We will maximize the use of the space,” stated Shannon.
Shannon said he isn’t privy to the financial arrangement or the terms of the agreement but noted that they put in “many long hours of searching for a facility.”
He also said the renovations have “just started taking place.”
“They aren’t going to be complicated,” Shannon said.
Hamel said the facility will have a more professional setup than some other facilities thanks to the concession area and office space. Another plus is the large number of stores and restaurants in the area.
Seacoast United has a variety of franchises across the Northeast, including Seacoast United Blackbear based in the Bangor area.
Seacoast United merged with Black Bear United in 2012.
Shannon was recently named the Bangor High School boys varsity soccer coach after guiding the JVs for two years. He replaced David Patterson, who died of lung cancer last month.
Hamel was named the new Brewer High School girls soccer coach replacing Tom Coleman, who resigned.