ALEXANDRIA, N.Y. (WWTI) — The Town of Alexandria Recreational Arena just got a little bit greener.

In a historic development, the Arena recently installed a brand-new green turf to open more summer recreational opportunities in the community.

According to Town of Alexandria Supervisor Brent Sweet, the idea for the turf was brought up by local officials and after months of discussions, received immense support from community residents.

“For years the Town of Alexandria has been trying to find different events and different things to do at our hockey, figure skating, ice arena in the off-season,” Sweet explained. “A couple of the board members came up with the idea of putting turf down.”

He said almost every outdoor sport will soon be played at the Arena through partnerships with the Alexandria Bay Central School District and nearby organizations. This includes activities such as soccer, lacrosse, softball, baseball, field hockey, football and more.

Town of Alexandria Youth Coordinator Nikkia Raso explained how this will only be a positive addition to the community as the closest indoor turf is a 30-mile drive down Interstate 81 to Watertown.

“The possibilities are just endless,” Raso emphasized. “There’s just so many things you can play in here in the off-season. Even in-season if a team has a rain date.”

Recreational Arena Employee Donald Martin added that the feedback has been nothing but enthusiastic, even in the first days of the turf being open.

“The community is very encouraged with it,” Martin shared. “The kids are happy and hopefully we’re going to see some adults come in and make use of it.”

This opinion was echoed by some of the arena’s youngest athletes as they saw the arena transform from having a cold, cement floor, to cushioned, green grass.

“When there was cement in here, it was a lot harder to kick the [soccer] ball,” Avery Hazeo said.

“I’m really excited to play soccer, like on rainy days when we have soccer practice, we can play in here,” Lilli Anchase added.

The Alexandria Bay Recreational Arena is located across from the Alexandria Bay Central School District on Bolton Avenue.