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Kia secures naming rights to Toronto training ground and academy

Car manufacturer Kia has acquired the long-term naming rights to Toronto FC's new training ground and academy programme, reports SportsPro. Under terms of the agreement, the Canadian Major League Soccer (MLS) team's new US$21 million, 5.7-hectare training facility located in Toronto's Downsview Park will be officially known as the Kia Training Ground.

Likewise, the club's soccer programme will be known as the Kia Toronto FC Academy.

"We're excited to extend our relationship with Kia Canada to include Toronto FC's training ground and Academy," said Tom Anselmi, executive vice-president and chief operating officer of Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment, owner of Toronto FC.

"Kia is a great global brand and their support for soccer across Canada has been terrific. This partnership with Kia for the Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy will support driving change for soccer at all levels."

Kia Canada vice president and chief operating officer Maria Soklis added, "The Kia Training Ground and Kia Toronto FC Academy strongly continue Kia's global commitment to soccer and take aim at the grass roots developmental stages of youth soccer athletes to provide them with the necessary resources to improve their skills and lead them to national and professional level play. Being the automotive soccer brand globally, this new partnership continues our goal to become synonymous with the growth and development of soccer throughout Canada."

According to an official statement released by Toronto FC, 'the Kia Training Ground will include three full size grass fields (two heated), four artificial fields, including two with air-supported bubbles for year-round use, and a 40,000 square foot field house that will have locker rooms, training facilities and team offices.

There will also be a physiotherapy and rehabilitation area, private and cafeteria style dining, video presentation theatre and a full-time residence for academy players.'

Construction on the Kia Training Ground is expected to be completed in the summer of 2012.

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Dave Williams

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