Sports facilities sorely lacking in New Westminster

Whether it’s the early and inflexible practice times, or the fact we have limited opportunities to host larger tournaments, few can argue we need to update our sports facilities in New Westminster. In fact, the last time we invested in a large sports venue was 1973 when we built the Canada Games Pool.

Last winter, Royal City residents woke up to headlines of the popular Arenex roof collapsing under the weight of the snow. There is widespread speculation this occurred due to a requirement by the City of New Westminster to install a new “green roof” – which resulted in a lack of snow melt – hence too much weight on the roof before it collapsed.

While the final determination as to what actually happened with the Arenex [it was used to host a number of region-wide trampoline and gymnastic programs] roof has yet to be determined, the loss of this community amenity offers us an opportunity to discuss the future of sports facilities in New Westminster.

In my opinion, it opens up the door for us to construct a new arena that can support our popular lacrosse and hockey programs. That’s why a few weeks ago I launched an online campaign asking for local residents to support the construction of this capital project. It didn’t take long for over 350 people to sign on to the petition.

The Arenex collapse offers our community the opportunity to discuss the future of our sports facilities. Do we need a 3rd arena? Or do we need another purpose-built gymnasium?

If you compare us to a city the size of Brandon, Manitoba, which has over twice the number of ice sheets as New Westminster, it is clear we have lots of work to do.¬†When Brandon [which has a much smaller population than New Westminster] can construct and operate significantly more arenas, you have to ask whether we’ve done enough to support amateur lacrosse & hockey in New Westminster.

You still have time to support my petition which aims to get a 3rd arena built in New Westminster. If we hit our target of 500 signatures, it will be hard for the Mayor and Council to ignore our request. Therefore, I’m asking you to sign the petition today.

I’ll keep you posted once we hit the milestone and I’ve met with the Mayor to discuss this important issue.