The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced plans Thursday to spend $40 million in funding on a new outdoor track and field facility and an indoor multipurpose facility for the 2025 Canada Summer Games.
The federal and provincial government, as well as the City of St. John's, are investing about $11.6 million each, with the Canada Games making a contribution as well, said St. John's Mayor Danny Breen at a news conference Thursday.
The facilities will be built on the northwest side of the facility, with the track located in the same place where a track was built when the city hosted the Canada Games in 1977. That track became a parking lot after the it fell into disrepair following the Games. Breen says the city is working on a plan to keep the new track operational.
"It's an important piece of infrastructure to us," said Breen. "I think we have the tools necessary to have the best Canada Games ever."
Getting Canada Games ready
The project includes the installation of a 400-metre track with a turf field in the centre and an indoor high-performance training space with change rooms, office space and a training area.
"This will be an exciting place where athletes will train, where they can reach their full potential, and will be a legacy piece for the Canada Summer Games," said Premier Andrew Furey.
St. John's, which was the sole bidder for the Games, was named the host in 2021. The St. John's bid faced some criticism, including concerns that the infrastructure wouldn't be built in time, but Breen said the facilities will be ready when the Games roll around.
George Stanoev, a longtime runner and the executive director of the Newfoundland and Labrador Athletics Association, says he's excited about the new facilities and what they will bring to athletes in the province during and beyond the Games.
"It's amazing," said Stanoev. "It is finally happening, so we will be very excited about the new facility and looking forward to hosting the Canada Games, and the legacy piece as well."