New Westminster sports facilities in dire need of a boost

If you are a parent in New Westminster, no doubt you’ve had a conversation about the lack of adequate sports and recreation facilities in our city. In fact, the last major capital project of this kind was the construction of the Canada Games Pool back in 1973.

A map from the City of Brandon outlines the various ice rinks that can be found in the city

It’s embarrassing to point out that a city the size of New Westminster has only two arenas. Moody Park Arena and Queen’s Park Arena are good facilities, but they are way overused. Just ask the countless lacrosse and hockey parents who have struggled with pathetic practice times and the need to send their kids out of town to partake in spring or ball hockey.

New Westminster has a population of around 71,000 citizens and has only two sheets of ice. By comparison, the city of Brandon, Manitoba has a population of only 45,000 people and has at least 8 sheets of ice. How is it that a small town on the prairies has managed to build more ice rinks than the oldest incorporated city in Western Canada?

A few weeks ago, I started an online petition hoping to get enough community support for a 3rd arena to get the attention of our civic leaders. It already has over 350 signatures and I’ve barely put the word out into the community. Obviously there is an interest in getting this on to the political radar of city hall.

The sudden loss of the popular Queen’s Park Arenex during a snow storm last winter has opened up a once-in-a-generation opportunity to discuss what type of sports and recreation facilities we should have in New Westminster.

Rather than simply forging ahead with a rebuild on the same site, I’m proposing we consider building a 3rd arena in Queen’s Park and “greening” the old Arenex site.

The last major sports facility to be constructed in New Westminster was the Canada Games Pool in 1973

Building a third arena makes sense on so many fronts. It would allow for increased sports tourism with larger tournaments. It would also dramatically expand practice times for our amateur lacrosse and hockey teams.

If we want to encourage our kids to stay fit & tackle obesity, then we need to be making the kinds of investments that will support this lifestyle. That’s why I’m encouraging everyone to support my online petition…help me reach my goal of 500 signatures…and open up a dialogue with city hall about this important topic.

The only way a third arena will get built is if there is grassroots support throughout the community. Please do your part by checking out my petition…signing it…and sharing the link with family and friends.

You can do it…help Make it Happen!