From: Darren D. MacDonald, thenorthbaybay.ca
NORTH BAY — When it comes to ice rinks, North Bay is approaching a tipping point. The West Ferris and Pete Palangio arenas are reaching the end of their lifespans, and Memorial Gardens had its own scare this year, with questions over the integrity of the structure being raised.
But a solution to North Bay’s arena problem has been devised.
And Al McDonald is aroused.
A recently updated multiple-use recreation facility (MURF) report recommends that a city the size of the North Bay should have 4.8 ice pads. To keep with the MURF, council has proposed the creation of an arena with a twin-pad.
After a recent city hall meeting, Al McDonald has announced that he is in complete support of a twin-pad, and that he backs placing the arena next to Memorial Gardens.
“I will go on record as saying my preference is to see the twin-pad being build next to the currently standing Memorial Gardens,” says McDonald. “It makes sense. We want to keep the sports-based infrastructure within the core of the town.”
“Plus it’s a twin-pad. Everything is better with twins…” McDonald winks. “If y’get what I mean.”
In a recent letter to the editor, the head of The Trappers AAA association states his belief that the centralization of the locations would allow for city facility staff to maintain both locations with minimal travel time. It will also allow the new arena to use the $4.5 million Thompson Micro Grid, and save up to $200 annually each year, despite the fact that on the Community Energy Park website, as of reporting, has saved $0 since it started operating.
“To be honest,” says McDonald. “I stopped listening when I heard ‘twins.’ I was excited. Surely Mike Anthony knows what I’m talking about! But once I got over the disappointment that we were only talking about ice pads, I grew on the idea. I stand by my choice. EVERYTHING is better with twins.”
Debates have started since the announcement. In hockey groups, on social media, and in the city council. The hot topic is the matter of parking, with many citizens and event goers questioning the logistics.
During the 2018 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship, people had to park at the vacant Sears Parking lot and shuttled over to Memorial Gardens to make up for the lack of parking.
“Where will the parking be?” reads one Facebook comment. “The parking lot during a Battalions game is already a shitshow.”
North Bay Mayor Al McDonald offered a response to those concerned:
“F*** your parking. TWINS BABY!!!”