The new arena being built in downtown Red Deer will be named the Servus Arena because the credit union is providing $1 million over 15 years in a sponsorship agreement with the City of Red Deer.
Garth Warner, Servus president and CEO, said at Monday’s announcement that Servus Credit Union had been actively looking for ways to show support for the Red Deer community, and he didn’t think they could have found a better opportunity to do that.Servus employs about 500 people in Red Deer, and has six branches in the area.
Pat Quesnel, a senior vice-president with Servus, said the old arena location, the same as the new one, was key to his family in Red Deer, and was always the meeting place for kids when he was growing up. He noted the long history of the location, which was also where the exhibition grounds used to be, and the long-standing public market, which has been temporarily relocated to the Memorial Centra during construction.
Mayor Tara Veer said the arena has been “a foundational part of building community life in Red Deer” and the city and Servus shared the values of community, family health and sport.
City councillor Dianne Wyntjes said she’s hopeful the sponsorship encourages other. “Servus has been one of those (businesses) that has always been community minded, so kudos to them.”
The money from Servus provides the city with non-tax revenue that can be used for improving civic facilities and services.
The Servus Arena is being built at a debt-funded cost of $21.6 million. Construction started last year after the old arena was torn down, and is expected to be finished in the fall of 2018. It will be one of the focal points for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, which Red Deer is hosting.
The new arena will be two storeys, and connect to the Pidherney Curling Centre. It will offer hockey and skating in the winter, and roller skating in the summer. There will be a room-temperature spectator area, with a seating bowl of 1,360 fixed seats, and capacity of 1,588. The second floor will offer an open view to action below, and an indoor running track.
The city is seeking name sponsors for other new or renovated facilities, including Discovery Canyon and the Great Chief Park Pavilion.