The city of Saguenay's indoor soccer stadium was inaugurated Tuesday morning, following a total investment of $26.4 million, several years of reflection and one year of work .
There were many smiles at the inauguration. Several were in the game, including Councilor Jean-Marc Crevier, who made dome soccer an electoral commitment in 2018, during his municipal campaign.
“In the region, there are more girls who play soccer than boys. It motivated me so much because when you look at any sport in the region, it's hockey! And to arrive today and to have a beautiful stadium like that, I'm so happy because there have been so many ups and downs,” he said.
The synthetic turf surface can also accommodate baseball, football, rugby, ultimate frisbee and spikeball players.
“This is great news, as much for our young people as for our school organizations or for our older children. […] For the first time, our people will be able to play in a closed stadium,” mentioned the mayor, Julie Dufour.
“We could not take more than 200 or 300 players the winter. There we can go up to 1200-1300. The sport-study program [includes] 150 [students], they work here on the fields so they love it. And for development it's much better because in the gym it's small. Here we have a real field,” explained Maxime Pépin-Larocque, general manager of the Club de soccer Venturi de Saguenay.
You have to act quickly because the time slots are filling up quickly. “There are already between 85 and 90% of all the hours of the year that are already reserved”, was surprised Mr. Crevier.
“The race track, it must be mentioned, has a large time slot. It's 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. daily. People can come here with the access card and parents of soccer players have free access to the race track,” added Maxime Pépin-Larocque.
The Venturi Soccer Club will manage the stadium until December 2023. However, the City of Saguenay is taking care of reservation requests.
“We are aiming for future years to do tournaments and to welcome all of Quebec if necessary,” projected the general manager of the Club.
Of the total investment, the City of Saguenay contributed an amount of $18.9 million, and the Government of Quebec contributed, through the Support Program for Sports and Recreational Facilities of the Ministry of Education, up to $7.5 million.
Visits of the public
Visits of the infrastructures are offered to the public from Wednesday to Sunday. 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. until Friday, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. Sunday.
Access is free and no reservation is necessary. Everyone will be able to move freely inside, and even try out the athletics track for free.
New facilities for the STS
La Société de transport de Saguenay (STS) also took the opportunity to build a new incentive parking lot and a temperate bus station nearby.
The René-Lévesque Station, which will be finalized this fall, will be the first in the borough of Jonquiere. Three other stations of this type are already available elsewhere on the territory of the STS.
This project cost 2 million dollars, entirely financed by Quebec and the STS hopes that this will encourage many users to opt for the transport in common.
“It's heated, we have the internet, people are able to see where the buses are. Next year, it will become one of the bike stations we will have in the borough of Jonquière. We want to increase the quality of our services and I think that with the station here, we are on the right track”, mentioned the president of the STS, Claude Bouchard.
Katrine Johns has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining The Gal Post, Katrine Johns worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my firstname.lastname@example.org 1-800-268-7128