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Futsal arena coming to Ralph Sampson Park in Harrisonburg

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 11:35 AM EDT
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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) - For the next few weeks you’ll notice some construction going on at Ralph Sampson Park in Harrisonburg, as work is being done to build two Futsal courts in the Friendly City.

“It’s a relatively new sport, it’s kinda emerging all across the country,” Brian Mancini with Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation said.

It’s also emerging at one of the park’s old tennis courts, as crews begin to install fencing and chained goals this week.

But what is Futsal and why take away tennis courts?

“It’s like a scaled-down version of soccer so it’s on a hard court usually played three on three,” Mancini said.

Mancini says it’s a sport they’ve seen the community play on existing tennis courts and basketball courts while nets were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The sport can be played year-round on pavement and now parks and rec will be bringing something unique in the state to Harrisonburg.

“We’re one of the first places in Virginia or one of the only places in Virginia to have a double Futsal court,” Mancini said.

The city is reutilizing an older tennis court much like the pickleball courts created last year but will do some resurfacing.

With lights up at night and some changes to the court design coming, the city expects large crowds at Ralph Sampson again when the project is complete in a few weeks.

“You’ve seen a tennis court that was kinda fading away with little activity, we’ve identified it and we think this will be if not the most, definitely one of the most popular amenities we have in the parks and rec department,” Mancini said.

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