Tbnewswatch Local News
Monday July 6 2015
3:59 PM EDT
2014-05-13 at MIDNIGHT

Keeping up: Community groups looking for big changes to Chapples Park

A birds-eye view of what the Chapples Soccer Park could look like.
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
A birds-eye view of what the Chapples Soccer Park could look like.
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY -- Some major changes could be coming to Chapples Park if several community groups get their wish.

With an estimated 5,000 people in the city now playing the beautiful game, Soccer Northwest Ontario wants to see five all-weather fields at the park including a 120,000 square-foot building to house a standard field indoors. Leagues in the city are having trouble scheduling games and finding adequate fields to play on.

The organization said the facility could also help the city attract provincial, national and international tournaments.
The Thunder Bay Community Tennis Centre, also located at Chapples, would also like to attract major competitions by adding an indoor facility of its own.

Thunder Bay Chill Soccer Club was also looking for help Monday. The organization’s Premier Development Team couldn’t play a majority of its games at its home field at Chapples last year due to conditions. So far this year two Premier players and three youth players have injured themselves on the field. President Tony Colistro asked council to give the team more opportunity to use Fort William Stadium this year until a more permanent solution could be found.

Coun. Paul Pugh said it’s a shame that a championship team like the Chill, which has also seen growth from 123 to more than 2,000 youth in its development programs, using a field that is in such poor condition.

“It’s pathetic,” Pugh said.

A feasibility study on the proposed changes is expected in the fall. Council also told administration to accommodate the Chill club as much as possible this season.

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reese says:
Soccer and cricket are the two top contact GAMES in the world build a cricket field while we are at it.
A nascar race around Boulvard Lake would be nice also.Every pareht knows all children should be treated as equals.If you give to one you must give to all
5/14/2014 7:31:10 PM
cazam says:
I guess the thing about this project for me is that if it is built I am certain that it will be used. I have no issue spending good money on something that will be used. Regarding the event center, however, I am not certain that it will be utilized as much as people think it will. Thunder Bay is not a convention center but we certainly do produce good athletes. I agree that they should perhaps have more discussion on this to maintain other users such as the baseball leagues but I do agree with developing the city from within and getting people involved more in the community.
5/14/2014 2:58:27 PM
sportman13 says:
the baseball fields are barely used, this is why they want to take the down. Thunder Bay soccer is growing so much but our fields are the worst in Canada. It's not only the chill field that is horrible every field in this city is except maybe the fort william stadium because it is turf and turf is easy to maintain. The chill field is owned by the city, the city's mens league plays on it a well as the elementary schools. This city needs to simply renovate the fields not make more. We have tons of fields but they are all crap quality. The indoor facility could is being asked because the sports-dome is very ignorant to the soccer scene and could pull out any time they want. Kenora recently got a new indoor soccer field and only good things have been said so why does everyone in TBay wanna bitch about it? Like it or not, this town is slowly becoming a soccer town.
5/14/2014 2:57:35 PM
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tiredofthebs says:
More initiatives like this are sadly required in this town. While I always seem to get sick to my stomach with the condescending and self righteous views od S Duncan, He is close to a point here. While I don't agree that the city should get completely out of leisure and recreation, it is time for a complete overhaul of the system. Softball diamonds in this town are falling into a disgusting state of disrepair, Little Leagues should be thinking of consolidating. TB Minor football practices on baseball diamonds covered in goose crap every fall and hockey rinks need to be re-evaluated as to their usefulness in the near future. We have the green space and the resources (machinery, small companies, volunteers, etc) to spend some time on the outdoor venues but I find it extremely hard to figure out how a private group would be able to afford the property OR be able to tell private citizens who can have access to the grounds.
5/14/2014 9:51:09 AM
tiredofit says:
I agree with most people on this, the city should totally get out of the Golf Course business, the Complex and the Entertainment business all together.

Give the club the land, charge them fair business property taxes and Colistro and fund the building(s) himself.

Sell the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium as well, once they build the Great White Elephant at the waterfront the costs of maintaining the Auditorium are going to sky rocket (at our expense as usual).

The city needs to concentrate on the infrastructure (ie: Roads, Garbage dump, etc.) nothing more.

If not, I've got some great swampy land I'll sell the city for their next grand project... They can simply back fill it with the bull crap that's generated every Monday night on Donald St.
5/13/2014 9:19:52 PM
Fan1234 says:
Very ignorant of this group to completely cut the baseball fields out of their design. Little League baseball has been using these fields long before the Chill existed. I am sure the Chill would be crying foul if another group redesigned the space without them in mind
5/13/2014 8:17:35 PM
unknowncronik says:
A facility like this would work great using 1/2 of the municipal golf course site, while keeping 9 holes for playing golf...but that would make too much sence & would make an "all in one" ultimate sports facilty.
Even building the events centre on 1/2 the muni golf course makes better sence than building it downtown. Were not a large city that's crying for more land, we have that here but were lookin past the idea because the bigger cities have their arenas in the downtown core, so we follow when its not needed. The small size of the events centre being built will come back and bite us in the butt soon enough, let alone the parking concerns that will also follow once its open.
This town needs to think on its own & do whats best for our area because we have a so much land all around us, building the events centre downtown isn't the right decision for our area!
5/13/2014 5:56:36 PM
papercut says:
I have to give Kudo's to the Chill...they are really doing some good work with Soccer in this city!

It is a shame that so few people support these great athelete's...they should be getting huge crowds.

Any way, other cities have indoor soccerplex's which are much like the LU Hanger Building. It would be fantastic if we had something like that here.

The money that flows into these cities when they hold tournaments is unreal.
5/13/2014 2:37:11 PM
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rob20 says:
Show me proof... and then divide the size of those cities populations/revenues to a percentage that reflects TBays size & remoteness to reflect the likely profits we'd get
5/13/2014 4:22:40 PM
papercut says:
Well rob20:

Without the facility....we cannot have tournaments.

They hosted the Girls National Soccer Championships here last summer.....our Relative's were with teh Alberta team....we watched quite a few games...many of these were played on the fields at the Northwood rec centre...which have less than satisfactory surfaces and there were some of us who actually had to Fill-In pot holes in the field/on sidelines to make it safe....

Any way: just about every major centre in Canada has an indoor Soccer facility.

Winnipeg has a 4 field soccer plex and they host tournaments there...In fact my daughter's Chill Team just won the Gold Medal there in Febuary. We flew there, rented a car there, spent on hotels and restaurants, shopped, etc... to the tune of a few grand....so do the math when you have 10 or 15 teams at a tourney....we are talking MILLIONS pumped into the local economy...everyone from the Garbage companies to teh airlines benefit.
5/14/2014 4:23:44 PM
verotik says:
sault ste marie has the new west end community centre with 2 new indoor soccer pitches in it,sault is way smaller than thunder bay.
5/15/2014 8:29:56 PM
octane says:
The city should get out of golf, stay out of these 2 clubs and dump the complex while they are at it.
There obviously is no market for tennis in the winter if Con College is looking to get rid of the Bubble.
Let the private sector take a chance on these ventures. Did the city give money to the new Aero Sports park at the golf dome??
Not a dime. All private sector!!!!
5/13/2014 2:28:36 PM
tiredofit says:
Great another $100 million dollar project no doubt. Who's going to fund this one! Why not just add them to the wonderful event centre.
5/13/2014 12:52:36 PM
Right Winger says:
I think this would be another great idea for Thunder Bay. We should all get behind this and see it threw.
5/13/2014 10:49:57 AM
rocketship says:
Regarding these groups buying their own properties.....I think that if you follow that reasoning, the city should get out of the golf course business. There are a lot of privately owned golf courses now.
5/13/2014 10:46:09 AM
S Duncan says:
You're right.

The city needs to get out of entertainment completely. Sell off the propertys and run lean.

That would let all of us spend our money on the entertainment we each deem important without trying to fund every thing for every body.
5/13/2014 12:32:31 PM
fastball says:
'That would let all of us spend our money on the entertainment we each deem important" - yes, in Duluth, or Minneapolis, or Winnipeg or SSM or Toronto.
Why - because they ain't comin' here!
5/13/2014 3:36:16 PM
S Duncan says:
aren't you tired yet of begging all the taxpayers for their money?

If either of you hate Thunder Bay so much, why don't you leave?
5/14/2014 4:28:14 PM
hadenough says:
Oh my, yes indeed. Lets become known all across the world for people who may be considering moving here or setting up some kind of business as the town that offers nothing but your toilet flushes and a rock in the bay that looks like something.

That's a great economic development approach you got there, maybe include a free tour of the landfill to clinch the deal too.
5/14/2014 12:18:08 PM
smartguy83 says:
Agreed. I don't think any reasonable person can argue that. Dropping Municipal was one step closer to making this a reality. I wouldn't mind one Municipal course but we definitely have enough options in the region. It's those who try to get there 7am tee time every day that will complain about this. To them I say welcome to the real world.
5/13/2014 12:46:49 PM
eventscentre says:
What a great idea! Thunder Bay deserves this because I guarantee you we have the highest pothole-filling to population ratio in the entire world. This is why we are stuck in the seventies, right where the pot and pan crowd want to keep us. All the way Thunder Bay!
5/13/2014 10:25:33 AM
smartguy83 says:
No more baseball diamonds? Numbers are down but that would be a sad day.

I am all for this project if they are able to keep a few baseball diamonds available. One of the best games in the world.
5/13/2014 9:49:44 AM
S Duncan says:
You're right about baseball. Its the best, well rounded sport we have.
5/13/2014 12:29:34 PM
NWOhunter says:
I agree that it will be a sad day if the FW Nationals organization goes under.
5/13/2014 1:42:06 PM
octane says:
Fort William Stadium already has a turf field and is incredibly under utilized. Perhaps the Chill don't like playing there because they can't sell beer. So the answer is for the tax payers to spend close to $800,000 just so the Chill can sell a few beer to the 600 or so people that attend their games.
This would be a total waste of taxpayers money.
These private groups should secure their own funding and buildings.
Where does it stop???
Next the baseball groups will want an indoor field. Might as well build them one too.
5/13/2014 9:45:46 AM
illuminati_nation says:
Why not? We want the city to spend $100 000 000 on an event centre so a hockey team can make money, but we shut the door on the Chill? Nice.
5/13/2014 4:41:48 PM
octane says:
I agree with S Duncan
These are private clubs.
They should at least pay for their own buildings.
The Chill want the city to pay for their field so that they can make more money??
That's a joke
5/13/2014 9:35:32 AM
rob20 says:
The roads and other infrastructure in this city are falling apart... we're aiming to blow $35 million plus on a controversial event center... and now we're going to building this as well? And this will cost how much? And the money will come from where?
5/13/2014 9:04:19 AM
brandon says:

This is not near enough to the marina to get funding.
5/13/2014 8:51:29 AM
S Duncan says:
Why don't the leagues buy property and set up their own place to play? Its not up to taxpayers to provide a place for them to play.
5/13/2014 8:39:49 AM
fastball says:
Maybe the city should get out of the road business as well. I mean, why should the taxpayers have to continually cough up for road repair? Let the drivers pay! There should be a separate surcharge on drivers' licenses - or maybe on car purchases. Let the drivers pay.
See, it sounds really STUPID when you put it like that, right?
5/13/2014 11:35:10 AM
SomeGuy says:
Lets also get out of the Education business as well. I mean why should taxpayers without Children continually cough up for schools? Let the parents pay! There should be a separate surcharge on birth certificates - or maybe on kids clothes purchases. Let the parents pay.
See, it sounds really STUPID when you put it like that, right?
5/13/2014 12:56:09 PM
Jasper says:
Right on cue!
5/14/2014 6:31:14 PM
Unspoken says:
The anti build anything recreational related trolls should be around any minute now.
5/13/2014 8:31:22 AM
SBJforever says:
I like this idea as well as the tennis indoor facility with access from BALMORAL and the Conservatory we could add lacrosse football and baseball to the southwest corner of the golf course and have lots of venues and access to Delaney via the foot bridge. A true sports-complex and a better fit for all ages . Connecting all of delaney friendship gardens imagine the possibilities.
5/13/2014 7:58:22 AM
Glyder says:
So you just want to be able to drive right over the golf course? Where do you think you would be able to access it from Balmoral?
5/13/2014 10:16:22 AM
humnchuck says:
Actually, there's already an access road behind the Conservatory at the end of Dease that runs north to the storage garages at the course and connects to the clubhouse.

It'd be quite simple as well to extend Dease through to Chapples Dr. if needed; it's only about a 300m distance at most.
5/13/2014 9:41:19 PM
Glyder says:
Your still going to have to bisect the golf course with a road. Maybe I am mis-remembering where the access road is, but I just don't see it. I don't really see a problem with only the one entrance. It's an extra 5 min drive.
5/15/2014 9:03:15 AM
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