August 12, 2015
Athletes could soon have yet another reason to train and compete in Prince George with upgrades to Masich Place Stadium.
Northern Development’s board has approved a $250,000 grant to support upgrades at the stadium, which was built in 1990 as a premier track and field venue to serve both Prince George and the surrounding region.
After 25 years, improvements are needed at the stadium in order for it to continue to meet recreation trends and community demands. The proposed improvements to the stadium include a new synthetic turf infield, redevelopment of the throw and jump areas and a new perimeter path. The upgrades would generate additional sport tourism revenue for the city, improving its ability to host major provincial playoffs, tournaments and national championships, in addition to accommodating regular season play for residents.
Northern Development’s board approved funding for the project through the Trust’s Economic Diversification Infrastructure program. The program provides up to $250,000 for public multi-use facilities that drive revenue and provide a long-term asset for communities. The award reduces the City’s funding request from the Union of BC Municipalities Federal Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund to $3,200,000, which would complete the project financing. A decision on that request is anticipated to be issued later this year.
The Economic Diversification Infrastructure program has previously provided funding support to the Charles Jago Northern Sport Centre, Sam Lindsay Pool in Kitimat, Terrace Sportsplex and Smithers Arena. Municipalities, First Nations and non-profit organizations can submit applications to the Northern Development’s Economic Diversification Program on a quarterly basis.
“Tournaments and sporting events generate business for local hotels, shops and restaurants, but this grant will do more than that – it will help ensure Prince George continues to have first-rate sporting facilities that make it an attractive place to live,” said Janine North, CEO, Northern Development.
Shirley Bond, Minister of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training and MLA for Prince George-Valemount
“As we witnessed through the 2015 Canada Winter Games, Prince George has the capacity to host fantastic sporting events and having great infrastructure is critical. Improvements to Masich Place will further enhance our ability to host sporting events that will attract visitors to Prince George and grow our local tourism economy.”
Mike Morris, MLA for Prince George-Mackenzie
“Sport is a big social part of our community here in Prince George. Upgrades to Masich Place Stadium will help create a better facility for residential and out-of-town athletes.”
Lyn Hall, Mayor, City of Prince George
“For more than 10 years, Northern Development has been making smart, strategic investments in northern communities, including Prince George,” says Mayor Lyn Hall. “On behalf of Council, I would like to thank Northern Development for this significant investment of $250,000 which will go towards our funding application for Masich Place. The award will help to ensure this beautiful facility will continue to be a place for citizens of all ages and skill levels to develop and to pursue their athletic goals and dreams.”
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Senior Communications Officer
City of Prince George