Galway Sportsplex



Plans are underway for a new sporting complex with ice rink and curling sheets in the west end St. John's neigbourhood of Galway, and the area's developer is anticipating the benefits it will generate.

Former premier Danny Williams, chief executive officer of DewCor, the company responsible for the retail, industrial and residential development, said the addition is huge news for Galway, for St. John's and for Newfoundland and Labrador.

"From an economic development perspective that helps Galway, but it also helps the province in the biggest kind of way: tourism, health and wellness, sport and recreation," Williams told reporters Friday.

Premier Andrew Furey said the facility will have multiple uses and will serve people not just in St. John's but the province as a whole.

"Our vision for this facility is that it will house multiple sporting surfaces, including ice rinks and curling rinks," he said,

Williams added his grandchildren have had to travel outside the province for sporting events but competitors will come to N.L. for the new facility, which will be built on a 10-acre site he donated.

"It'll be lots of capacity there to handle everything."

Williams said the idea for the facility came from former head of Hockey N.L. Jack Lee and Memorial University professor Tom Clift.

"Their team approached government and you know, full credit to the ministers and Premier Furey, they bought in and they realized the value of this."

Williams also said he believes the addition of a sporting facility will help bring new businesses, like hotels and restaurants, to Galway.

"We're growing now at a really good pace. But we'll see the hotels, you'll see more residential residences being sold. People will live close to this facility because their children can use it."

Olympic curler and business owner Brad Gushue said he's visited many facilities like the one being proposed through his travels across Canada.

"I know the importance that it has on the community and how it becomes a hub for the community, and the impacts go far beyond just sport and recreation," said Gushue.

He said it's good news for the curling community, because a lack of facilities is hampering the sport's growth.

"Having a new facility like this in Galway is going to allow us to to grow the sport. And I think there's enough interest certainly in the the west side of St. John's, C.B.S., Paradise, where people would actually avail of the sport."

Health benefits anticipated

Furey says the new facility could help attract large sporting events to N.L., with economic and social benefits.

"When regional and national events are held, thousands of people flock to them."

Furey said $500,000 was earmarked in the recent budget for the design work and plan for the new facility.

The facility will play a part in his government's effort to improve people's health, he said.

"We've been working diligently toward a healthier, more active province. And in 2020 we launched Health Accord N.L., knowing that we needed to become healthier," he said.

Those efforts include changes to the health-care system as well as adding infrastructure like the new building, Furey said.