Community to play host to 2014 Esso Cup
By Kevin Werner
They say build it and they will come. For the Trombetta and Ferrelli families, they have made that aphorism a reality.
The families are overseeing the completion of a distinctive, $25-million, 128,000-square-foot, three-pad arena in Stoney Creek.
Called the Gateway Ice Centre, the facility is at the corner of South Service and Fruitland roads and will have two NHL-sized arenas, with the potential of adding an additional rink to the complex.
“These guys are really stepping up,” said Tony Falasca, arena project manager. “This will be a destination place for people from all over the area.”
Brian Cleary, president of the Stoney Creek Girls’ Hockey Association, says without the arena, his organization would not have landed the 2014 Esso Cup for Stoney Creek.
It is something that is really needed here,” said Cleary. “For us (to host the event) it was a deal-breaker. So this is really exciting.”
The centre, which is scheduled to be complete by early October, includes an 8,000-square-foot 5-Star Fitness and Nutritious Centre, with membership open to the public.
A Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, with connecting outdoor patio overlooking rink one will be located on the second floor, while a three-lane rubberized wraparound running track with five sprinting lanes, will be atop rink two. A sport shop with skate sharpening and free wi-fi will also be on site.
The facility will include solar panels – the owners are seeking an application – and will use recycled water, said Falasca.
The facility will accommodate 2,400 spectators, including 1,600 in rink one in a bowl shape around the ice. The other two rinks will allow for 400 spectators each.There will be about 365 parking spots, with about 300 more to come, said Trombetta.
“We want parents, and families to come and stay here,” said Trombetta. “We saw there was a need in the community. And we wanted to do something for the residents.”
At an informal gathering last week, the Trombetta and Ferrelli families – partners in the venture who also own Grand River Natural Stone Ltd. – walked around the construction site, taking photos and showing its features. They later retired for lunch at the Grand Olympia.
About 300 people have been employed building the facility, said Falasca.
Tenants will include the Stoney Creek Junior B Warriors hockey team and the Steel City Hockey league.
Trombetta said the rate for the ice of $235 per hour is comparable to what the city offers, including at the Mohawk 4 Ice Centre on the Mountain.
“It is affordable,” said Cleary, whose AA and Junior A teams will be playing in the three-pad this fall. “(The owners) made it really easy to come here. They are trying to give back to the community. It’s a phenomenal facility. The girls will even be getting their own dressing rooms. The kids are really excited.”
The facility will accommodate any group that wants to rent the ice, said Trombetta.
Last month, the Stoney Creek News reported that the owners had yet to acquire a building permit and that in May the city issued a stop-work order.
Trombetta said they did receive a building permit from the city, which is posted nearby. He said a “misunderstanding” occurred with city officials, especially when construction took off so quickly in April.
“City staff was pulling for us,” he said.