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.
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.