ASSINIBOIA - “Once the Southland Co-op Centre Arena is finished we will have the most impressive and functional multi-use facility in the province for a community of our size,” said Curtis Nelson, President of the Civic Improvement Association. “We have amenities, finishes, and technologies that exceed many professional sports venues.”
Assiniboia and District Chamber of Commerce Executive Director, Nicole Batty, welcomed 26 people to the Lunch ‘N Learn on February 24 where Nelson provided a detailed update of the Centre’s progress.
Fundraising began November 2011. ICIP Grant funds of 11.5 million (40 per cent federal and 33.33 per cent provincial) were awarded to the project in January 2021. “Although nine companies had bid on the project, Wright demonstrated the biggest footprint, best finishes, and significant experience.” They built the Merlis Belsher Arena in Saskatoon. Wright began construction on March 29, 2021, with expected completion in September 2022.
The Southland Co-op Centre Arena will have a 27-foot TV screen outside, facing the Prince of Wales building. Residents will be able to bring lawn chairs to watch the games or join a tailgate party.
“We are the first town in Saskatchewan to have an area like this. We are hoping to close that end of the street off and to build a walkway/plaza expansion between the Centre and the Prince of Wales,” said Nelson. “It’s fairly expensive, though, and would take another half million.”
The second floor will feature a small outdoor balcony area above the foyer. Dressing rooms and showers will accommodate sledge hockey teams – one of the only in Saskatchewan.
- NHL sized ice surface 80 X 200 feet
- 368 fold-down padded theatre seats, 50 bar chairs, six lounge seats and seven wheelchair spots.
- 96 speaker sound system at 10,300 watts.
- eight-foot glass around the entire arena
- 13 degrees climate controlled environment
- 21 foot video scoreboard that is sponsored by Bourassa & Sons Ltd.
Several dressing rooms will include lockers and individual shower stalls. “Figure skaters will no longer have to carry speaker equipment as we will have Bluetooth speakers.”
This room will house a pickleball/badminton court plus portable basketball nets, floor hockey equipment, and table and chairs for approximately 50 people, as well as a ceiling mount projector sponsored by Young’s Equipment.
190 metre, two lane, indoor walking track made from rubber composite track material, available for year-round use. Sponsored by Shoppers Drug Mart.
Video game console stations, computer station, dance area, drink and snack station, TV area, tables and chairs for board games and crafts, sponsored by Conexus Credit Union.
Concession and Bar:
Concession and bar will feature a full service commercial kitchen and licensed bar with point of sale terminals.
- Touch screen kiosk for Assiniboia hockey history
- Press box with a programmable entertainment system and GOBO lighting.
- Trophy Cases sponsored by the Rotary
- Mini stick hockey rink for kids sponsored by Dave Mihalicz Excavating
- A play area sponsored by Al and Patty Batty
- Wood Mountain Lakota First Nation Interpretive Exhibit in lobby
“The second floor cement pour took 52 truckloads and three days around the clock to finish. The building is fully enclosed, with all walls up, roof on, and heated,” said Nelson. “If you want to help us finish off our centre, you can purchase a Spring Fever lotto ticket, selling out soon, or purchase a ticket for the Assiniboia Sportsman Supper and Auction on April 9, 2022. Our celebrities are Lanny McDonald, Chris Walby, and Rod Peterson.”
“Residents can buy a seat for $500 and have your name engraved on it, or donate to the project and receive a tax-deductible receipt and/or marketing credit in the building.”
Nelson answered questions at the end of the Lunch N’ Learn. “We have 390 parking stalls within one block of the rink entrance. Seating capacity will be 1,560 including the dressing rooms, 50 per cent more seating than the Assiniboia Civic Centre.”
Another question was raised regarding the budget for the Interpretive Exhibit in the foyer. “I’m not sure of the budget for that,” said Nelson, “but my door is always open and my phone is always on if you have questions.”
“A surprise area for all age groups will be announced at the grand opening September 2022,” said Nelson. “We’re trying to keep that a secret for now.”
Southland Co-op sponsored the Lunch ‘N Learn that was hosted by the Chamebr at the Canalta.