In 2009, City of Prince Rupert received a $30,000 grant from Northern Development through the Community Halls and Recreation Facilities program towards this $363,388 project. This has been a funding partnership of City of Prince Rupert, Northern Development, Corporate Donations, Prince Rupert Regional Community Foundation, Tourism BC, and Vancouver Foundation
2012- Prince Rupert’s Jim Ciccone Civic Centre includes the Russell Gamble Gymnasium that has hosted thirty-eight of the last fifty annual All-Native Basketball Tournaments. To commemorate the fiftieth anniversary of this extremely popular basketball tournament that attracts over 5,000 spectators during a week of fierce competition, the City of Prince Rupert undertook the replacement of the original wooden bleachers with new, state of the art seating that includes chair backs and padding. The new bleachers are retractable so that they are not in the way of regular gym users outside of tournament games.
"This project has added several thousand dollars to the All-Native Basketball Tournament Society's potential door revenues, but the greatest benefit is that it has increased the comfort tenfold."Michael Curnes, former Director of Recreation, City of Prince Rupert
"The visual impact that it makes on me, I can imagine what it's going to make on the fans who've been sitting on hard benches for years. I can imagine when they come through that door there are going to be whispers and maybe shock and awe."Clarence Martin, President, All-Native Basketball Tournament
By increasing the seating capacity of the gymnasium by 202 seats, greater ticket sale revenue was possible, and allowed for major events in Prince Rupert such as the All-Native Basketball Tournament to grow. The additional seating generates almost $2,000 per day of extra ticket sales for the All-Native Basketball Tournament Society, which was used to support the creation of one full-time and one seasonal position within the non-profit society.
Since the gymnasium has been upgraded, the City of Prince Rupert is now able to attract large provincial and regional events which generate increased revenue for local restaurants and hotels. The improved venue not only increases the size of existing events that are held in the gymnasium, it attracts new events and increases revenues for the city.