Greater Saint John Field House
Sport Clubs and Discover Saint John Team up to secure events for field house!
Local sports groups and Discover Saint John have teamed up to bid for events to host in the new Greater Saint John Field House once built. The facility which will feature artificial turf fields and the only national quality indoor track & field venue in Atlantic Canada will be a prime location for national and regional events.
The sporting community is starting now to market the facility and attract events so there will be a strong economic impact from the complex when it opens. Along with Discover Saint John, the partners in this project include the Saint John Track & Field Club as well as various soccer, gymnastics and martial arts groups. Other sport partners will be added to this team as potential sporting events are identified.
The event hosting strategy will seek out and bid on events over the coming year that are suited for this facility. Bill MacMackin, Project leader for the field house project states, “By sport clubs and Discover Saint John launching this strategy now Saint John can ensure a strong start to event hosting for this facility when built.” In fact, the plan is already working!
Jason Reindl, coach with the Saint John Track & Field Club & Athletics N.B. has said, “We are very excited to announce that the Canadian Masters Athletics Association has awarded provisional hosting of their national indoor championships to Saint John at the new facility for 2019 & 2020. It shows the economic impact this facility can have through sporting events.”
This masters’ event, which usually attracts over 250 master’s athletes, is conditional on construction being confirmed in 2017 and the facility being available open for use by the end of 2018. “Saint John has had an outstanding record of hosting the master’s event for track having hosted our outdoor championships in 2007 and a very successful North American Championships in 2012. We are very excited to support this project and a return to Saint John for our indoor championships,” said Canadian Masters President, Paul Osland.
From a track point of view, the bidding will not stop there. The club has intentions to pursue the Canadian University Indoor Track Champs (CIS) along with UNB, the Canadian Indoor Open Championships which open for bid this year as well as numerous Atlantic regional events.
Work is also started with local and provincial soccer groups to ensure the new facility secures its share of regional and provincial events. Jim Burns of Southern NB soccer and a board member for Soccer NB stated, “A permanent facility such as this can be configured to attract a number of larger regional soccer events drawing from all over Atlantic Canada. We are working now to identify events so that this facility stays as busy as possible.”
“Sports tourism creates significant economic impact in Saint John and working together to plan for the future of this facility is the key to driving business,” said Victoria Clarke, Executive Director of Discover Saint John. “Our event sales team will be actively working with these sporting groups to help them sell this venue, our city and province to prospective events. They know their sport and we can help them marketing Saint John as a great host city.”