'We're really proud': Gordie Howe Sports Complex nearing completion
Published Friday, May 21, 2021 3:54PM CST Last Updated Friday, May 21, 2021 10:30PM CST
SASKATOON -- It’s a project that began in October 2011, and almost 10 years later the Gordie Howe Sports Complex is nearing completion.
“We're 90 per cent done on our fundraising, we're probably around 85 per cent done our work,” said Friends of the Bowl Foundation board member Johnny Marciniuk.
The Friends of the Bowl has raised about $62 million of the $68 million goal to complete construction, and are currently looking for donations, as well as advertising and sponsorship partnerships.
“We're really proud of what the community has accomplished here, and provided funding for us to do this. We're not done yet but we are glad to be where we are.”
The latest project is the 20,000 square foot multi-sports centre, which stands between Cairns Field and the Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval, which doubles as the track and field complex.
“This is one of the last major structure buildings that we have on the property,” said Marciniuk.
The facility is being billed as one of the best in Canada, and local clubs and coaches are excited about what it could mean for athletics in Saskatoon.
“It's an old cliche, but if you build it they will come,” said track and field coach Jason Reindl.
“Having facilities allows us to think about the future generations, so maybe not in the next five years, but 10 years from now, 15 years from now, we're hoping to see greater numbers of high performance athletes moving through the system, making teams, making events that bring recognition to Saskatoon.”
The amenities at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex will help attract high level competition.
“For this coming winter we're bidding on a Canada Cup,” said Saskatoon Lions Speed Skating Club president Chris Veeman.
“Being able to bring in track meets of hundreds and low thousands of people, that's a lot of tourism dollars,” said Reindl. “A lot of hotel rooms, a lot of meals for the community, which we're trying to support.”
The project is about leaving a legacy for the community.
“We wanted to put it here in the Holiday Park neighborhood to give access to children and clubs that may not have the access to areas in other parts of the city,” said Marciniuk.
“Our landscape architect says when this place is finished it'll be the nicest Park in Saskatoon which we're very proud of.”