Propos­ing change

The Compass - - P2011ORTHTE -

Right now, Har­bour Grace is look­ing at get­ting a new arena, which begs the ques­tion: Can the com­mu­nity of just over 3,000 sup­port such a ven­ture? The an­swer may be a com­pli­cated one. Some peo­ple be­lieve that for the new rink to be a vi­able in­vest­ment for the town it should be a 12- month fa­cil­ity, mean­ing it would need to have a use in the sum­mer.

There have been rum­blings of a bowl­ing al­ley and/or curl­ing rink be­ing added to the fa­cil­ity.

A bowl­ing al­ley, I think, would be a great way for the sta­dium to find a use in the sum­mers.

Be­ing that the only set of lanes can be found in Bay Roberts, there is a pos­si­bil­ity it can work.

How about lay­ing down a hard­wood floor over the cold, bar­ren con­crete, put up a cou­ple of hoops and throw a bas­ket­ball out onto the court?

To the best of my knowl­edge, there is not a sum­mer league in these parts, and this could spark a re­newed in­ter­est in the sport.

The curl­ing rink is an­other in­ter­est­ing wrin­kle to the story.

Har­bour Grace has been with­out a curl­ing rink since the clos­ing of the CBN Curl­ing Club and the ice sur­face was turned into a Clarke’s Fur­ni­ture.

Curl­ing used to be big in this area, you can look no fur­ther than Jamie’s Way to find ev­i­dence of that, and there is no rea­son it can­not be again. It just needs the fa­cil­ity. Who knows? With this new fa­cil­ity, maybe an­other Olympic cham­pion could come from this area.

Of course, the op­tion to bring pro­fes­sional wrestling to town is al­ways there, but how many shows can the pow­ers that be af­ford?

Bay Arena throws the oc­ca­sional con­cert, which is an­other idea to help ease the fi­nan­cial load a new fa­cil­ity will bring.

Trooper is al­ways look­ing for a gig in New­found­land. I’m sure they could come and put some butts in the stands.

The sta­dium has a big draw dur­ing the win­ter in the Cee­bees, mean­ing there is only sum­mer to worry about.

Con­tro­ver­sial

Some peo­ple think this new sta­dium could be used to foster a new part­ner­ship be­tween Bay Arena mi­nor and Cee­bees mi­nor.

This new part­ner­ship would mean abol­ish­ing their re­spec­tive en­ti­ties to be­come a new one. A true Con­cep­tion Bay North, if you will. Do I think it will hap­pen? Don’t know, I can’t re­ally an­swer it. Do I think it will hap­pen even­tu­ally? See above an­swer. There are cer­tainly par­ties who will not al­low this to hap­pen, and right­fully so.

There is so much his­tory with both of those names that it would be a shame to lose both iden­ti­ties to the sands of time.

Maybe a fa­cil­ity that al­lows both as­so­ci­a­tions to play out of the same rink, some­where in the area that al­lows play­ers from Salmon Cove or Marys­vale to make the trip com­fort­ably.

This par­tic­u­lar fa­cil­ity would have two sep­a­rate ice sur­faces ( maybe more) and al­low for the op­er­a­tion of each as­so­ci­a­tion sep­a­rately while sup­port­ing so many com­mu­ni­ties.

Fi­nan­cially, it could al­low the fa­cil­ity to run with­out cost­ing the town(s) a whole mess of money.

But, on the other end of things, with St. John’s opt­ing for travel teams in­stead of teams from each as­so­ci­a­tion, it might be some­thing to ex­plore sim­i­lar to what Con­cep­tion Bay South and Con­cep­tion Bay Cen­tral did so many years ago.

I’m cer­tainly not ad­vo­cat­ing the abol­ish­ment of these two sto­ried hockey in­sti­tu­tions, but that’s not to say it does not en­ter the con­ver­sa­tion in five years time. Per­son­ally, I don’t want to see it hap­pen. Maybe the only thing to solve this prob­lem could be a sec­ond ice sur­face in the Bay Arena and the for­ma­tion of a house league pro­gram with the Cee­bees could help sus­tain the pro­posed new arena in Har­bour Grace, while also fos­ter­ing de­vel­op­ment in the area at fairly non-com­pet­i­tive level.

Just say­ing.

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