Town opens new stadium
The Dan Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre opened to the public Friday evening, with council members joining residents to take in the new multimillion-dollar facility. The ice is freshly laid, and now all that’s left is for the hundreds of local hockey players to test out the arena and break-in the dressing rooms.
Harbour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes walked with a bit of pep in his step Friday night.
His eyes were beaming and he had a smile on his face a mile wide. And, with good reason. The Town of Harbour Grace held an open house for the public at its new stadium, the Dan Cleary Harbour Grace Community Centre. Over a hundred people from the local area from Upper Island Cove to Victoria came out to take a look at the arena and everything it has to offer.
What they got was an eyeful. They saw the cavernous dressing rooms, the large ice surface, spacious bleachers, walking track and the gym.
For over an hour, they marveled over how everything looked and where they were going to be watching hockey this season. The official opening for the some $20-million facility at the top of Jamie’s Way is expected to be early next month.
“There’s been a big turnout here,” said Barnes. “When I came up and seen the amount of people here, I was floored.
“Everyone is so happy with the facility.”
The in-house entertainment for the evening was provided by the HGOE CeeBee Stars. They kicked off training camp for their second season since returning to the Avalon East Senior Hockey League last year.
Minor hockey kicked off its season as well with a full slate of practices on Saturday.
The sights and sounds were the same, but the surroundings were much different. Pucks clanged off new boards and glass, while skaters were put through their paces on the professional-sized ice surface.
Some recreational hockey players even questioned whether they’d be able to skate the full length of the rink.
“I’m just so happy, “Barnes said marvelling at the arena. “I don’t know what to say. It’s an honour and you’re excited to walk through.”
The HGOE CeeBee Stars kicked things off at the new stadium with their first practice of training camp. Longtime rink attendant Chris Hearn watches the practice on the ice below him.
There are two observation decks that offer a prime viewing spot for anything going on at ice level.
The walking track is sure to be a big hit with many residents.
Stadium manager Mike Adam (left) and CeeBees minor president Dean Whelan take a look at one of the huge dressing rooms.
CeeBees minor hockey executive member David Osborne guides a group of people through the stadium.
What’s an opening without some cake cutting. Shown here are, from left, Mayor Terry Barnes, Lauryn Hunt, Serena Squires, Maggie Shute, Kaitlyn Pike and Madison Shute.
The gym is a welcomed addition to the arena.