Mayor Naheed Nenshi has cut the ribbon on a badly needed recreational facility which recently opened its doors to the public. Located just a few blocks east of the Calgary Soccer Centre, the Great Plains Recreation Facility is now another great attraction for people living east of Deerfoot Trail.
Ground was broken at 76 Ave and 57 St SE in September 2014 on this 80,000 square-foot facility which sports a $33-million price tag. Construction was paid for by the City of Calgary with additional funding from the provincial government. There are two rinks with seating for an audience of 600 hockey, ringette, figure skating and sledge hockey fans. There’s a pro shop, change rooms, training space and concession area.
Calgary sports groups can book more ice
These new sheets of ice now ease some of the pressure in Calgary which has suffered from a lack of ice for several years. The South East part of Calgary has rinks at the Trico Centre, East Calgary Twin Arenas Acadia, Fairview, Frank McCool, Lake Bonavista, Ernie Star and Jack Setters – the latter having just one sheet of ice at each rink and very small change rooms. Not all of these rinks are operated by the City of Calgary. However, the entire South East area south of Fish Creek Park has been without a rink for years. Many sports clubs have traveled to Indus, Okotoks, Black Diamond/Turner Valley and even High River for additional ice times.
Operation of Great Plains
The Great Plains facility is owned by the City of Calgary but will be operated by Canlan Ice Sports. This private company is new to Calgary but has previous partnership experience with municipal government bodies elsewhere in North America. Mayor Nenshi told those gathered at the official opening of the rec centre that the City of Calgary will be watching how this new model of private/public operation will unfold. The purpose of bringing Canlan to the table is to run Great Plains efficiently and at a lower cost.
While the two new rinks are great news for sports groups that have been waiting in line to book ice time, Nenshi acknowledged that more facilities are needed for other sports. Indoor soccer and cricket pitches are also on the list of needs in Calgary.
New facilities in Quarry Park
While the Great Plains facility is an ice-sports only facility, South East Calgary also welcomes the new recreation centre in Quarry Park. The Remington YMCA will celebrate its grand opening on Saturday, September 10 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm. This new facility with pool, gymnasium, fitness studio, walking/running track, concession area and Calgary Public Library branch is a new community hub at 108 Quarry Park Road SE.
Next is Seton
Calgary South East will welcome even more recreational amenities in 2018 when the Seton Recreational Centre is due to open. This facility will be 330,000 square feet in size and will be nestled between high school, a park and will be served by the future LRT. The address is 19340 – 45 St SE.
This comprehensive faculty will have pool and diving tank, a water park and a leisure pool as well as two ice rinks, three gymnasiums, fitness studios, concession as well as a Calgary Public Library branch and cultural facilities including a 300-seat theatre.