Coquitlam host to Canada's largest soccer super store
Brad Leitch, president and CEO of Soccer Express, knows his soccer and his acumen is making Tri-Cities a hub for the sport.
Tomorrow, Saturday, March 2 the Port Moody secondary grad is opening up a 10,000 square-foot soccer superstore in a light industrial area in Coquitlam near IKEA the freeway.
"We wanted to expand our experience to everyone in the Lower Mainland," said Leitch, a long time Coquitlam Metro-Ford Soccer Club player.
Since 1998, Leitch has operated a retail soccer store and wholesale business in Coquitlam, partnering with soccer clubs in the Tri-Cities and throughout the Lower Mainland and Canada. The opening of the new store required closing down the Barnet Highway store which has been outfitting athletes for 25 years, but the move enabled Soccer Express to provide more services for soccer teams, fans and enthusiasts.
For example, there's a kid's zone geared to soccer players under the age of 12, a demonstration cage where athletes can try out soccer boots and balls and a meeting room clubs can use, as well as a wide array of name-brand gear.
The expansion of Soccer Express mirrors the growth in soccer in the Lower Mainland, Leitch said there are 7,000 soccer players in the Tri-Cities alone and the sport continues to grow.
But what really excites the centre midfielder is the connection with local clubs, such as North Coquitlam, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam Metro Ford.
Soccer Express has supplied these teams with gear and supported fundraising efforts for teams throughout the region for over two decade, Leitch said, and it still thrills him to see them use equipment and uniforms purchased at his store for their games.
"It's neat to drive by a field and see everything that they are using we are a part of," Leitch said.
The store also caters to soccer enthusiasts, with soccer memorabilia from a variety of international teams.
Opening day is set for tomorrow, March 2 at 9 a.m. Coquitlam Mayor Richard Stewart along with soccer personalities and celebrities will be on-hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. There will also be grand opening deals on footwear, training gear and soccer accessories. The address for the new location is #10 - 75 Blue Mountain Street, Coquitlam (near the IKEA).