Arena may soon have new name
One of many changes in store for busy Bay Roberts sports facility
The association that operates the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts has confirmed that it’s negotiating with a national company for the naming rights of the busy 25-year-old stadium.
It’s one of several changes and improvements taking place at the facility, said Ed Neil, chairman of the Bay Arena Association Ltd.
Neil would not name the company, but said it has a presence in the region.
“ That’s a way of us raising more money through advertising, and we’re trying to pursue that,” Neil told The Compass on Friday.
Having corporations pay to have their names associated with a sports facility is not uncommon, and following that trend would help the association pay for costly improvements to the facility, Neil explained.
The most notable improvement to date can be seen resurfacing the ice between uses every day. It’s a new, state-of-the-art Olympia ice resurfacer that came at a cost of some $115,000.
There are also plans to upgrade the electrical system in the building, which will cost upwards of $40,000, and badly needed roof repairs may also be required at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars.
The association raised rental rates by 15 per cent this year to help pay for the ice resurfacer, and Neil hopes that having companies increase their advertising presence in the building will allow the association to pay off its debt before the eight-year term for the loan expires.
The new ice resurfacer arrived at the beginning of the season, and replaces an old Olympia model that was purchased a quarter-century ago when the facility first opened.
The old machine was reconditioned several years ago, but Neil said it was time for a new one. He said there was no hesitation about going with another Olympia model.
“It served us so well that we felt it was good to purchase another one,” he said.
The Canadian-built resurfacer is powered by propane. It is highly advanced, and includes a computerized ice levelling system to ensure a top quality skating surface.
“ So far, the boys are very pleased with it,” said Neil, referring to the three arena employees — Dave McLean, Clarence Russell and Dave Seymour — who operate the resurfacer.
“ It’s a very fine piece of equipment,” Neil added.
The association plans to sell the old resurfacer, hopefully to another arena somewhere in the province.
“We’re not looking for an exorbitant amount of money for it,” Neil said.
The association purchased the resurfacer without any government assistance. The Town of Bay Roberts, which owns the arena, provided a loan guarantee. Neil said the town has been “very co-operative” over the years.
A handful of recreation and sport projects in the Conception Bay North and Trinity South regions have received grants through the 2010-11 minor project capital grant program (MPCGP).
The program is designed to help offset the cost of minor upgrades to existing recreational facilities and equipment.
More than 90 recreation organizations and municipalities throughout the province have received a total of $142,000. In this region, they include the following: • Victoria recreation committee — $3,000; • Upper Island Cove parks and recreation associatin — $1,500; • GAIA Group, Bay Roberts — $1,500; • Cavendish youth services committee — $1,000; • Heart’s Desire senior’s exercise group — $1,000; • and Cabot Academy environmental committee, Western Bay — $1,000.
“Sometimes, a relatively small amount of funding can make a big difference to an organization’s ability to provide programs and services that encourage residents to take part in activities that promote an active, healthy lifestyle,” said Recreation Minister Terry French
“ This program supports minor capital projects and equipment purchases; complements other recreation and sport infrastructure initiatives, and further demonstrates the provincial government’s commitment to helping eligible groups conduct activities in a safe and inviting environment.”
Under the program, successful applicants receive grants between $1,000 to $3,000 for projects that support physical activity and recreational opportunities for residents within a community and surrounding region.
For more, vi s i t http://www.tcr.gov.nl.ca/tcr/sports/minor_project_cap ital_grants.html.
A CLEAN SHEET: The skating surface at the Bay Arena in Bay Roberts is now being maintained by a brand new, state-of-the-art Olympia ice resurfacer. Shown here operating the new machine last week is Clarence Russell. The facility, which is administered by the Bay Arena Association Ltd., paid some $115,000 for the resurfacer. The old machine was purchased a quarter-century ago, at the same time the Bay Arena first opened. It’s one of several improvements being done to the facility.
Ed Neil is chairman of the Bay Arena Association Ltd.