Council approves contribution to Canada Summer Games infrastructure plan

St. Catharines Council has provided conditional approval for up to $10 million towards ­the Canada Games infrastructure plan, including The Sport and Ability Centre, a facility based around a twin-pad arena with a spectator rink. The facility will be located at Brock University as part of the Canada Games Park. City of St. Catharines graphic

City of St. Catharines press release – The City of St. Catharines is making a $10-million investment, with conditions, towards the 2021 Canada Games to ensure Niagara puts its best foot forward on the national stage.

At its May 13/2019, meeting, St. Catharines Council provided unanimous approval for up to $10 million in funding towards the Canada Games infrastructure plan, including The Sport and Ability Centre, a facility based around a twin-pad arena with a spectator rink. The legacy project, which would be located on the grounds of Brock University, is one of the preferred options identified in the City’s draft arena strategy to meet current and future needs of all users.

Approval is conditional on satisfactory funding and contributions from upper levels of government and other partners, including Niagara Region, its municipalities, and Brock University, as well the development of terms and conditions of an operating agreement and model, which would require Council approval.

Mayor Walter Sendzik said while the local investment is substantial, funding from upper levels of government, Niagara Region and Niagara’s municipalities will mean the City’s investment into the Summer Games is leveraged to secure a total of $98.8-million in community infrastructure across Niagara, including The Sport and Ability Centre. In addition to the 2021 Canada Games, the infrastructure projects will also allow Niagara to host other international, national and provincial sport competitions.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a major legacy project by leveraging funding from other partners will be a world-class facility at a much more fiscally responsible price,” said Sendzik. “This is another piece of the puzzle in further developing our region as a world-class sports tourism destination, but it will also serve local residents’ needs well into the future.

The implementation options in the City’s draft arena strategy hinged upon participation in the proposed Canada Summer Games’ Sport and Ability Centre. With an estimated $15.8 million in long-term capital requirements for the City’s existing arenas for various renewal activities the Summer Games facility is an option to meet the community’s needs.

“The Canada Summer Games Sports and Ability Centre is an important piece of the puzzle being considered under the draft arena strategy,” said Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Services Phil Cristi. “Work is ongoing with all partners to determine the future operating model and what the ice allocation would look like to meet the needs of our arena users.”

The Niagara Region won its bid for the 2021 Canada Games in March 2017. More than 5,000 athletes will compete in 18 different sports from Aug. 6 to 22, 2021, with all of those competitions taking place across Niagara municipalities. The projected economic boost from the Canada Games infrastructure plan, which also includes $6.9 million in capital upgrades to the Henley Rowing Centre, will be about $400 million, and support more than 2,100 local jobs.


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