For Immediate Release: July 27, 2017
The Multisport Fieldhouse Should Be the #1 Facility Priority
Calgary is a world class city; it deserves a world class facility. Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society (CMFS) has been advocating for a Fieldhouse for almost a decade. In fact, the very first Fieldhouse proposal to the City of Calgary was 50 years ago in 1967. Embarrassingly, Calgary remains the only major Canadian city of any size without a true Multisport Fieldhouse. Currently, Edmonton has two operational fieldhouse facilities and is anticipating having two more come on line before the City of Calgary builds out its first.
What is a Multisport Fieldhouse and what makes it different than other facilities in Calgary currently? A Fieldhouse is an indoor facility that features a running track which surrounds a turf field and in the case of the proposed Calgary Fieldhouse a 400m track and a full FIFA size field which can be used for field sports including soccer, football, field hockey, rugby & lacrosse. Because of our often-challenging weather and growing population, indoor sports facilities are greatly needed to serve amateur sport groups and active Calgarians of all ages.
CMFS has engaged the support of over 25 amateur sport associations representing approximately 200,000 members in Calgary and throughout Alberta. No different than a new library, revitalized parks, East Village, Green Line LRT or state of the art transit storage facilities, a Fieldhouse is part of the infrastructure and amenities a growing international city such as Calgary requires.
The Fieldhouse is a facility with 100% true public benefit that aligns with the City’s 10 year Economic Strategy - area of focus – Community Energy. The strategy of “Build and Promote Calgary as a city to live a creative, active life” includes a particularly relevant action item: “Build a city where all Calgarians can participate in sport and recreation to the extent they choose”.
A Multisport Fieldhouse remains listed as the #1 highest priority project in the Unified List of Unfunded Capital Requirements for the City of Calgary. In 2013, a Fieldhouse was confirmed as the first priority to be built in any redevelopment of city lands at Foothills Athletics Park. While The City of Calgary has confirmed the Multisport Fieldhouse need on multiple occasions, including the City of Calgary/Sport Calgary Strategic Plan for Sport Facility Development & Enhancement, it has yet to make any commitment in green lighting the project for development.
CMFS are pleased that the City remains engaged and committed to the process of evaluating next steps in regard to a Fieldhouse at Foothills Athletic Park and an Arena in Victoria Park
“The Fieldhouse should be the #1 priority for any sports facility related tax payer dollars or City financial support. While CMFS appreciates, and agrees with the need for a new Arena/Events Center we do not support this potential public/private facility receiving go ahead before Calgary’s first and only Multisport Fieldhouse. Understanding the far-reaching implications of this decision and the complexity attached, we are advocating City Council to act with urgency in committing to a funded Fieldhouse prior to the October Civic Elections.” states Jason Zaran, Chair of the Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society.
Any potential location for the Multisport Fieldhouse must be carefully evaluated & compared using the same five major criteria to meet the requirements of amateur sport and the general public:
1) Fieldhouse amenities and program requirements
2) Public/amateur sport users’ ease of access & parking
3) Wide primetime availability for public & amateur sport groups
4) Affordable rates & fees and long term guarantees
5) Governance model to serve the needs of user groups
CMFS will continue to work closely with the City of Calgary and Sport Calgary in support of this much needed facility. To that end, engagement with our user groups and key stakeholders within the Province is paramount as we look to take our Society’s mandate from that of advocacy to one of execution. This will ensure all programming and corresponding design details assist in the most optimal facility experience while keeping the core vision and must have criteria focused on the benefit for all Calgarians. Together we can enhance our city and benefit future generations with the foremost Multisport Fieldhouse facility of its kind in the world.
Please contact CMFS for further information or media interviews.
Donna Dixon, Communications Director on behalf of the CMFS Board of Directors