People standing in front of a Football pitch about to cut an opening ribbon

Harrod Sport Arena Officially Opened

Marketing & Communications
Harrod Sport Arena was officially opened earlier this week with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Harrod Sport Arena Officially Opened

On Monday, the sun was shining as The FDC welcomed Norfolk FA partners and distinguished guests to the official opening of Harrod Sport Arena.

The event celebrated the exceptional facility and recognised the hard work of all involved in developing the state-of-the-art 3G Arena pitch. Harrod Sport Arena is based at Norfolk County FA’s flagship facility, The FDC, in Bowthorpe.

Title Image [front row, left to right]: Ian Grange (Norfolk County FA Head of Facilities and Development), Greg Rowland (Norwich City Council Leisure Development Officer), Michael Banham (Norfolk County FA Chairman), Kevin Utton (Harrod Sport Director of Sports Sales & Marketing) and Matt Carpenter (Norfolk County FA Chief Executive).

Partners and guests of Norfolk County FA were present at the opening ceremony of Harrod Sport Arena.

Thanks to a £250,000 grant from Greater Norwich Growth Board in conjunction with Norwich City Council, and £646,040 funding from the Football Foundation, The FDC will boast a new state of the art all-weather pitch complete with new hospitality suite.

Redevelopment work started in November last year as the Field of Dreams was ripped up to make way for the new 3G surface. The aims of the project were to provide all-weather training opportunities to local grassroots football teams and National League clubs, with the conversion to 3G enabling an increase of over 50% in pitch hire availability at the facility.

Speeches on the day by Norfolk County FA Chairman, Michael Banham and Chief Executive, Matt Carpenter highlighted the exceptional work of all those involved in the journey of creating Harrod Sport Arena. These included, but are not limited to, Arena sponsors and exclusive equipment partner, Harrod Sport, pitch contractors, Charles Lawrence, and staff at Norfolk FA.

During the speeches and ribbon cutting ceremony, the pitch was used by local Club, Costessey Sports FC. The new surface was played on by three teams: Costessey Sports Girls’ U13s, Costessey Sports U11s and Costessey Sports U7s. They were all enjoying themselves whilst demonstrating their skills for those in attendance.

Norfolk County FA Chief Executive, Matt Carpenter said: ”We would like to thank our partners and guests for joining us on what was a momentous occasion for the Association. Harrod Sport Arena will provide football opportunities for local people for many years to come and serve as a great venue to play football for both youth teams and our resident National League Clubs.

"My sincere thanks go to Harrod Sport for the tremendous support that they continue to show both Norfolk FA and grassroots football in the county."

To contact the Football Development Centre, please e-mail or call 01603 704050 (Opt 2).