Lacombe’s athletic park has been christened with a new name after MEGlobal Canada committed $250,000 until December 2014, as the facility’s signature sponsor.
“It’s absolutely a great positive thing. The one thing I really think is it really gives recognition that this is not just a Town of Lacombe project, but this facility will be utilized by groups throughout Central Alberta and in fact all of Alberta,” said Darren Gagnon, fundraising chair of the Lacombe Athletic Park Association.
“There will be great opportunities to have university and secondary education athletic groups come here and use the facility and we even expect to have CFL teams visit for training camps or stopovers or anything like that.”
Work on the MEGlobal Athletic Park is set to get underway in the next week.
Gagnon said the association has raised close to $2 million of the $3 million needed to complete the project. Part of that comes from a federal government recreational infrastructure Canada grant worth $365,000 that fundraisers were awarded earlier this year, as well as from businesses and individuals.
Gagnon said they have raised enough to get started on the first two phases of the project, with the first phase including the EnCana field house, the dressing rooms, the viewing tower, the concession and the washrooms and the second phase including the lights, the stands, the new score clock and park signage.
Phase three is expected to began in November 2010 and will include the artificial field turf and rubber track. The grand opening of the park is planned for the spring of 2011.
The athletic park project started four years ago with a couple of parents wanting to build a change room for the football teams and now it has expanded to include minor football, minor soccer, the triathlon group in Lacombe, the rugby group, seniors lawn bowling, Red Deer Buccaneers and others.
Discussions with MEGlobal Canada have been underway since July 2009. The MEGlobal Athletic Park is expected to draw thousands of athletes and spectators each year.
Bob Brandt, vice president of manufacturing for MEGlobal, said this is the first time the company sponsored something where the MEGlobal name will go out front.
“Our plant is located just south of Lacombe and many of our employees live in the area so it’s a unique opportunity for us to give back to the community,” Brandt said. “It’s name recognition, but more importantly it’s going to be for the benefit of the young people in much of Central Alberta.”