2009 Canada Games propose Athletics Facility for UPEI

January 23, 2008 Charlottetown, PEI – The 2009 Canada Games Host Society announced today that UPEI is their first pick for the location of the Athletics Facility that will be used for both Athletics competition and the Closing Ceremony during the Games.

Because the facility is still in the concept phase, the venue location cannot be confirmed nor a definite cost determined until several project approvals are received. The concept does call for a 400m synthetic competition track, natural grass infield, grandstand with permanent seating for 1400, timing tower, results room and equipment storage.

One such approval that is required to move the project forward is from Charlottetown City Council, who, tonight at a public meeting, will hear a request from UPEI to designate the Athletics Facility as one use of their lands that are part of a “comprehensive development zone”. The venue will also be on the agenda at UPEI’s Board of Governors meeting Thursday night for their endorsement, and funding approval is expected later this month from the various orders of government.

Several sites were considered for the Athletics Facility over the past two years, including Stonepark Intermediate School, during a process that included a study commissioned by the City and consultation with the sport community. After considering many factors such as environmental impact, physical accessibility, proximity to other facilities, and legacy, the Host Society and the Province of PEI determined that UPEI would be their preferred location.

The Host Society’s President Joseph Spriet said, “From a Games-time operations and maintenance perspective, the UPEI site offers several advantages. With the Athletes’ Village for the Games also located on campus, participants will be able to walk to the venue and we will have plenty of parking for spectators.”

Minister of Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour, Carolyn Bertram added, “This venue will be a tremendous legacy for the Island sport community. UPEI has demonstrated an amazing capacity over the years to build and maintain facilities that have strengthened the entire Island community. With this state-of-the-art facility we will be opening the doors for opportunities that previously didn’t exist for athlete development, sport programming and event hosting. This is a very exciting step forward for our Canada Games, UPEI, our sport community and all Islanders!”

The Host Society expects to easily clear these procedural “hurdles” for the Athletics Facility and looks forward to, along with their partners, formally confirming the project in the very near future.

About the 2009 Canada Games

The primary objective of the Canada Games is national and provincial sport development of Canadian youth. The Games provide the stimulus for Canadian youth to reach their athletic potential, pursue personal excellence and develop socially and culturally within the context of ethical competition.

The organizing committee for the 2009 Canada Games was formed in 2005 after Prince Edward Island was awarded the rights to host the event. The committee was incorporated as the PEI 2009 Canada Games Host Society, a not-for-profit corporation and is committed to planning and delivering an outstanding athlete-centred, province-wide, multi-sport and cultural event that: promotes stakeholder excellence, is of national significance, has sustainable legacies and is fiscally responsible.

The 2009 Canada Games will be hosted on Prince Edward Island from August 15-29 including approximately 4,400 athletes, coaches, and managers competing in 18 sports over the two week period. A cultural component called the National Artist Program, with young artists from each province and territory taking part, is also included in the Games schedule.

The 2009 Canada Games is truly a Prince Edward Island event with activities happening right across the province. Week one of the Games will be based in the western part of the province with the Athletes’ Village at Slemon Park near Summerside, with week two based in the eastern part of the province and the Athletes’ Village moving to the University of Prince Edward Island in Charlottetown.

The organization of the Canada Games is made possible thanks to the governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island, the Canada Games Council and the Host Society.

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