Renovated stadium open for business

Ryan Ross
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AMHERST - It might not be new, but the improved Amherst Stadium hosted a grand opening ceremony before Saturday's Ramblers game.
Dignitaries from every level of government were on hand to celebrate the end of renovations to the 50-year-old building.
Director of Community and Economic Development Roger MacIsaac said a new stadium was considered, but the structure was sound and the renovations cost a lot less than a brand new facility.
"All it needed was a facelift."
The ceremony kicked off with town crier Gerry Randall proclaiming the renovated stadium open.
The Ramblers were on the ice as Mayor Jerry Hallee, MP Bill Casey and MLA Ernie Fage were among those who addressed the crowd.
The renovations took more than two years to finish and included a bigger ice surface, a more modern floor under the ice, a new facade for the building, a walking track inside and extra parking. The project cost $4.3 million, with $1.2 million from the province and the rest paid for by the town.
MacIsaac said a lot of people have been using the stadium since the work started and he has been getting a lot of positive feedback about the changes.
"The users love it."
Andrew Reid, an avid Ramblers fan who was on hand for the game and opening ceremony, said the renovations were an improvement.
One of the biggest differences he noticed was the amount of space near the entrance, with the canteen and a special spectator room moved, he said.
"It just makes it more comfortable."
Reid said it was nice to have more room because it was always cramped before the games and people couldn't move around.
"It was like a cattle chute."
Hallee said the staff did a great job of keeping the stadium running during the renovations.
"It looks a lot better in bricks and mortar than on paper."
Because the building's structure was still sound, Hallee said the Town knew they would get a high quality product when the work was done.
"It was a wise investment."

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium

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  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 11:21

    Frank, thats got to be one of the lamest things I've ever read.

    The population of the town of Amherst has been declining since World War 2. The old stadium was PAID FOR. Funny no one ever thinks of that huh

    Spending a few million dollars to update and upgrade the place was appropriate.

    Why should the town repeat Springhill's disaster and build a new facility?

  • LINDA
    January 18, 2010 - 11:18

    I just can't get over how on the website it stated it cost $8.50 an adult to attend the game,but when I went to the booth ,it cost $9.WAS the extra .50 cents for the free hockey sticks that were given out at the door? WOW!I agree that the stadium was paid for way before I was ever thought about,but where THE MONEY went to?Nobody will ever know,but I want to know where all of those 50 cents went to?excellent game though!

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 11:16

    Enough with the Y bashing Frank! FYI it is NOT ready for the wrecking ball, go take a look if you're able (no disrespect intended).
    I don't agree with the amount the town earmarked for the hockey rink either, but the rate payers around Amherst et al seem to hold hockey above all else, so what's a person to do?
    I was blasted once before in this forum when I dared to lament about our inability to ever afford hockey. I was politely told to deal with it , and to get my children used to being have-nots (my words, not theirs), I'm being kind :)
    So, I would suggest to you all who disagree(d) with the project to crawl into your sad little corner and whine to the wind, as that's the only air you(we) desperate unfortunates deserve ;)

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 11:13

    Ol'Huge i am sure want your smoke . Your negative argument about population is off as that population has two massive Sportsplexes . Cole Harbour Place and Dartmouth Sportsplex .They are also getting ready to build a third massive one .These places are built with Government funds .You need capable politicans to access them . IMO

  • huggggge
    January 18, 2010 - 11:13

    lets see 9 dollars at the door, if you go to every game for the next 100 years your 9 bucks at the door would not even pay for transportion for your hockey club for one year.{9 times 26 =234 dollars a year times that by 100 = 23400.00 , go to yarmouth 12 bucks at the door, in a hundred years you may pay for their sticks for one year , no you would'nt, stick budgets for some teams exceed 30,000 a year, the ramblers hold an open meeting every year to show the public where the money goes, and your 9 dollars at the door sure helps out but volunteer still have to hold fundraisers to pay the bills, a few years back this club was 180,000 dollars in debt, but hard work and a hell of alot of hours by the rams execs pulled this club back from the brink.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 11:12

    wow I'm finding all kinds of stuff in the minutes of Council concerning the Stadium. They list what was to be done, the people who tendered to do it, the tender amounts and who won the tender. Linda happy hunting! Make sure to let me know if you have any questions. Its all there nothing hidden.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 11:11

    Well we urgently need a banquet center in town and the YMCA is ready for the wrecking ball .So the solution is to get going with building a really great banquet center in the immediate vicinity of the high school and combine it with a facility to replace the Y ,while at it we should add a couple of hockey rinks .The combined place ,well we could call it Amherst Place ,it would resemble Cole Harbour Place producing great achievers like Sydney Crosby and my goodself . How to pay for it you may ask ! Well for starters the county could get over the loser , ineffective ,kicked out dinasour politicans .Get some on the right side of the floor with enough common sense to stay there and obtain federal,provincial,civic,institutional,philanthrophic ,and business funds to move forward . IMO

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 11:09

    Good idea Mr. or Mrs Speaker, I would suggest instead of arguing about it, you begin lobbying for your banquet/sports multiplex. Start with the Town Councillors and try to drum up interest.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 11:09

    Linda ----i know your feeling about where the extra fifty cents went . Huge Baloney here says the rotting old ice house looks like a million bucks now . I want to know where the other four million bucks went !

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 11:07

    Multiplex was the way to go .All we get at the end of FIVE million dollars is what we started with .One hockey rink ,that's it ! Why bother since it was so structurally sound , just maintain it and move on with a multi sportsplex and community center . Not too hard to figure . IMO

  • Snoose
    January 18, 2010 - 11:04

    Frank, I don't & won't have a war of words with you! If you had bothered to read the whole post I did say I meant no disrespect.
    I made my point (tounge in cheek it may have been) and if you feel so repulsed by the Y and everything it has to offer families, why do you bother using it?? :)

  • Mike CTV Newsnet
    January 18, 2010 - 11:01

    Jason, Frank and Huge,
    I would like the three of you to appear in-person on my show in the near future. We will link Linda Treadwell up via satellite from the canteen at the Stadium, and we'll get into hasing out politics like no panel has ever done before! Please say yes! (Or at least get your own show on Bragg Cable).

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 11:00

    Frank, I want some of whatever it is you're smokin' or mixing with your sustecal.

    Just down the street from our five million dollar ice house , theres a lovely athletic facility - the YMCA - thats been close to being belly up ever since the day it was opened. And, Frank, you're suggesting that we should have another one such facility. ~Huge shakes head in amazement~

    So what if Cole Harbour had a lovely facility. Whats that got to do with anything in Amherst?

    COME ON FRANK stay with us on this: Amherst population 9,500, Cole Harbour population 80,000. Hmmmmm Frank. See any difference in ability to pay and population base to utilize here?

    I'll save my lecture on morality and fiscal responsibility for another time. I don't wanna put too much on ya at one time.

  • LINDA
    January 18, 2010 - 11:00

    I am sure MR WARHAM,if we knew who the real people were then we would get answers,but I guess it's all about politics!GEE, I could've gotten steak for the price I paid for 3 fries and a pop.COME on not all of us are making a lot of dollars,we paid for this building already,something that we didn't need in this town,paying taxes all year round and not being used for anything in the SUMMER,THEY say to rent the ice is $80 an hour? until you get to the booth..lol..DOES that mean everybody that is empoyed at the STADIUM received a raise?BECAUSE nobody else is seeing where the money is going!THE stadium is not for low income people,gee I make good money and still can't afford a SEASON pass,something is wrong with this picture.WONDER if some of us can operate a canteen,try to get a 10 year season pass?BECAUSE if you do the math, we paid at least 3 times for that building!IF we were to take action would you join us????That's the million dollar question,and if you did MR .WARHAM,then we can get that million back that went into the stadium!AND some,then the discussion is closed when you stand by us.

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 10:56

    Oh Frank, You must need to get some ginko biloba into that geritol you're drinking.

    Its not a matter of whats LEGAL, its a matter of whats MORAL.

    This information, of course Frank, is contained in books. Next time try to get one that doesn't require crayons.

    Actually you're statement besides being erroneous and ill informed is also incorrect. Hughie Maloney also submitted a tender.

    Dear. Dear.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:56

    Yes i recall there was one other bidder who was ruled to be ineledgible ,which ends up as one bidder .Morality has a different meaning for every moralizer ,i try to filter them out as total bores .Ironically ,often the most fervant moralizers are found out to be not very law abiding either .Is that the case with yourself also ? IMO

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:55

    Huge----i would be glad to hire such fine people at any respectable job i had to offer ....however ,your suggestion concerning Linda is a sexist slur , pure and simple . No doubt your superior moral code of ethics can explain it all but please spare me the pain of listening to it . IMO

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:52

    If you are so inclined Mr. or Mrs. Speaker to find out where the money went, why don't you request the information under the FOIPOP (freedom of information act). It is really easy and then you can know for sure where the money went. Instead of yapping about it why don't you take some real action.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:52

    Well Linda if you desire you can probably get information on the expenses to run the stadium and the amount of revenue generated. That might set you straight but you won't look. You say we've paid for the stadium three times over, well maybe you have over the many many years its been opening. There are such things as operating expenses, salaries, you know the nuts and bolts of running a place.

    $80 bucks to rent ice? That's cheap. $8 or 9 dollars to see a game? That's cheap. Maybe not cheap enough for all but what is these days? And what would you pay to see a game?

    I don't get why my involvement would help but if you requested information and you got it I'd certainly like to see the numbers. I'm sure it won't be *shocking* or even at all *surprising*.

    What I am doing is pointing out that complaining without having any real knowledge on the subject or any *real* interest in finding out says alot about the complainers. Try digging a little deeper, get some facts and then state a conclusion and maybe even a recommendation. You'll be surprised who would listen.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:52

    Snoose ----i don't believe you ,despite what you have written ,i think you meant to show disrespect to what you felt was an older person ....shame on you !!!! IMO

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 10:50

    Frank this just keeps getting better and better.

    URGENTLY need a banquet center? Frank, go ask them in Springhill how deeply in debt they are with their center and give your head a shake. Small towns like this can not afford these facilities. It makes no matter if your liberal friends get elected, which they won't by the way, the numbers do not work.

    You can't compare Cole Harbour and Dartmouth the Amherst. Ones a populus city, one is a small town with a high retirement community. You're only embarrassing yourself to try to connect these two dots.

    If a banquet center is viable, let someone in the private sector construct and man it. Why should government have to pony up everytime you feel the need to have a hot beef sandwich?

  • Penal T.
    January 18, 2010 - 10:50

    Yes, Jason, you are probably correct. But it's more fun to surmise about a steamy scandal, the way me and Huge B. are doing, than to read your sleep-inducing posts that parallel something written by a government policy maker on a Tuesday in January in a non-election year.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:48

    Guys and Gals we made it to Forty posts .Wouldn't have been necessary if you all had just listened to my sooth and each of you not gone off on your respective tangents of folly ...LOL

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:46

    Community buildings are often long since PAID for by the time they need replaced by new generation concepts .It is a lame argument to just referbush the old clunker and go with it for another fifty years .The new generation of multiplex sports/community centers give fantistic return for the money spent .They give a great feel for suport self enrichment recreation and community development to a broad range of the population .I belonged to the one in Cole Harbour for a few years and suggest anyone who has not been in it to take a complete tour of the facility .Amherst Place would have been the route to take instead of wasting five million on the old clunker on the hill to end up with what we started with .A single friggin hockey rink YUK !! ...IMO

  • LINDA
    January 18, 2010 - 10:46

    I say that all of us run for ELECTION this year MR.WARHAM,nad we make you finaniance of ALL GOVERNMENTS,and MR.BALONEY (as he likes to identify himself as) will be your righthand man.like I said it's all about politics in which we have no say in after the voting is over.HEY MR.WARHAM,how did you know how much I spent?LOL.YOU hit the nail on the head with that price,so why can't you fiqure out where the money went and how long ago the stadium was paid for?AND what the heck we did pay for,ALL that I seen is a new front part and a plaque,mind you the time for the speakers,because we all know that every duty comes with a dollar sign in this TOWN!NO free ride!just do the math my friend!

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:46

    What we have here is an attitude of defeatism ,vote for useless sleezy politicans put up with fourth rate facilities . All these multipleses being built in Metro have banquet facilities .Acoa has lots of funds ,banquet facilities are a great facilitators of business ,commerce,social,and community networking .When you got the banquet center you promote hard and draw in large conventions that spill of funds into the community .Those peoples attending often form a lucurative attachment to and for the community . You just add on the sportsplex and hockey facilities ,ready for this new century . There is Tons of money available ,the Canadian mint works overtime printing it .Amherst is an ideal convention location .Amherst needs a replacement for the Y building and the old Amherst stadium is a one trick pony . As i said before ,they are building these types of facilities like crazy in Metro ......besides all the currant facilities ,Dalplex,World Trade Center,numerous rinks,Spry facilities,Sackville sportsplex,Dartmouth sportsplex,Cole Harbour Place....new massive ones are being built in Clayton Park ,Bedford,Beazly Field...Eastern Passage and Waverly plus many other communities are not far behind ......Our Town deserves a decant multiplex and the referbushment of the old dump on the hill or bandaides for the Y does not foreclose that venture . Time to get over the culture of defeatism ,IMO

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:44

    You are right Huge, if they built a giant sportsplex here all of amherst would have to go to sustain the thing. If Mr. or Mrs. Speaker is this interested in lobbying for such a thing why doesn;'t he do his own feasability study or ask one of the politicians about it? He or she says ONLY IF we had someone in power it would happen just like that. Doubtful the federal cupboards are bare and we are in for tight times. Its nice to dream big but fimagine the howels of people like Linda Treadwell when they have to pay $20 or $30 to see a game. Its nice to dream big but it has to be feasible. It just isn't in this case.

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 10:39

    Thanks Jason. The old place looks like a million bucks now. All rennovated and a new parking lot out back for overflow.

    I detect a problem though: A town councillor has the canteen concession at the stadium. This kinda conflict of interest always gives ol' Huge the heebie jeebies.

    I'm just not comfortable with these liddle arrangements that don't seem like arms length. No doubt the selection process was flawless, but morally it smells like the back of a fish truck.

  • Huge
    January 18, 2010 - 10:37

    Frank, for cryin out loud, if you're naiive, don't expect the rest of us to be.

    Culture of defeatism, the rest of us in the real world call it BEING REALISTIC.

    Frank all the communities you spout off about are in metropolitan areas. We are not. But thanks for mentioning them it only reaffirms my point.

    And part about tons of money being available...... well Frank.....why is Springhill so deeply in debt if theres all this free money around???????? Huh Frankie?

    Heres an idea for ya though Frank: how about getting the old armouries turned into a Hooters franchise? Its likely big enough to host some of these lavish banquets you're dreaming about.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:37

    Huge ---Springhill is getting the benefit of their facility and the town has historically struggled with their budget ,no change there . If you just look at Springhill and throw up your hands then you are in defeatist mode . Amherst is a great location near an Airport for being in the Convention/Banquet/trade show market .We can lever that advantage as described above . I will leave the other parts about Hooters to Your smoke induced dreams .IMO

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:35

    Big Baloney-----There is no hint of scandal here .There was a public tender let and George was the only bidder .He and everyone else fully discussed this and the council decieded after public discussions to go forward with the private operator rather than have the town run the chip and hot dog stand .IMO

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:35

    Very nice but a mulitplex with loads of parking on flat ground would have gave Him Tortons lots of competition as the only game in town . IMO

  • Penal T.
    January 18, 2010 - 10:34

    Isn't that same councillor also on the Ramblers' executive board? My goodness, the scandal possibilities are endless! And everyone thinks the US presidential race has all the juicy gossip!

  • Mike CTV Newsnet
    January 18, 2010 - 10:34

    Jason, Frank and Huge,
    I would like the three of you to appear in-person on my show in the near future. We will link Linda Treadwell up via satellite from the canteen at the Stadium, and we'll get into hashing out politics like no panel has ever done before! Please say yes! (Or at least get your own show on Bragg Cable).

    (spelled hashing wrong the first time, is why I wrote twice)

  • me- not - you
    January 18, 2010 - 10:33

    way to long ceremony - couldn't hear a word any one said - just a complete joke - and embarrassment to the town

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:32

    Huge awesome point made that being the stadium is paid for. You did a slam dunk on ole Mr. or Mrs. Speakers head with that comment. Imagine Mr. or Mrs. Speakers comments or even that other lady me not you if a completely new facility was built. on and on they would yap about the cost and the taxes and that a retrofit of the old stadium would have been more ideal.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:31

    I don't think you guys have a clear understanding of the phrase scandal. It is not a scandal when the people involved have completely divulted information to the public concerning the conflict of interest. No one has offered anything to suggest that the Councillor has hidden this conflict. In fact if I recall this issue arose years ago and proper procedures were used. Just because someone is in conflict doesn't automatically disqualify them so long as the conflict is divulged. Someone tell me if different.

    You are basically rehashing an old story cause ya conveniently forgot or just don't know.

  • Jason
    January 18, 2010 - 10:31

    Linda Treadwell: Your use of all caps and their placing is an art form in and of itself.

    You know what you could do because it seems you are looking for someone to do your crusading for you. I suggest you start with the Town Minutes they are FREE and available ONLINE. They will illuminate you with how things are dealt with.

    For those who say said Councillor is in a conflict of interest I direct you to page 8 of the Minutes of May 26 2008 of Amherst Town Council. Here's the Link of what happened to get that councillor the tender:

    http://www.town.amherst.ns.ca/department/executive/council/minutes/2008/20080526.pdf

    Some scandal some immorality. sheesh...blow hard old men!

    And Linda please check out the minutes too they also show some fabulious information concerning the operating expenditures of the Town. I would try to go find the stuff about the Stadium but I'll leave that to you Ms. Treadwell. If you find something amiss let me know. If they are in the wrong I'll be with you 100% percent. Or e-mail rpurdy@town.amherst.ns.ca and ask her to forward you a copy of the minutes pertaining to the Town voting on the expenditures for the Stadium.

  • Frank
    January 18, 2010 - 10:30

    Snoose ---FYI i am a member and participant of the stinky ,molding ,rotting,roof leaking,rotten creaking tiny basketball court,crampted mimimal pool,car parking challenged mismanaged YYYYYYYYYY and i have had a good look ,so what is your point exactly ?????