A $25-million privately-owned triple pad hockey arena complete with gymnasium, running track and full-serve restaurant is taking shape in Stoney Creek.
Called the Gateway Ice Centre, the facility is located at Fruitland Road and South Service Road, adjacent to the Queen Elizabeth Way.
“Fruitland Road is the gateway to Stoney Creek,” owner and president Danny Trombetta said when asked about the name during a tour of the work site Wednesday. “We’re easy to get to. It’s 20 minutes from anywhere you want to be.”
The Trombetta and Ferrelli families are partners in the venture and also operate Grand River Natural Stone Ltd.
“This is an exciting project,” said Trombetta. “Stoney Creek-Hamilton is very important to us. We have over 40 years of business experience in Stoney Creek. We saw there was a need. We’re giving back.”
Trombetta says the size of the arena is just under 100,000 square feet. Two of the three ice surfaces will be regulation NHL size, with the other being slightly smaller.
The main rink — with 12 change rooms — features 1,600 backed seats located in a bowl shape around the ice. The other two rinks each have seating for 400.
In addition to the three ice pads, the following features are scheduled to be part of Gateway Ice Centre:
• An 8,000-square-foot 5-Star Fitness and Nutrition Centre, with membership open to the public
• A Don Cherry’s Sports Grill, with connecting outdoor patio, overlooking rink No. 1
• A three-lane rubberized wraparound running track over rink No. 2
• A fan friendly viewing area with 49-foot ceilings, two private boxes and an oversize press box
• A sport shop with skate sharpening.
“We should be ready by the end of September,” Trombetta said of the expected completion date. “We tried to hire as many of the local trades and contractors as possible when we had the chance. The bulk of materials also came from Ontario and Canada.
“Hundreds of people have been working on this site.”
One of Gateway’s tenants for the upcoming season will be the Stoney Creek Junior B Warriors. The Stoney Creek Girls’ Hockey Association also will shift its AA and Junior A teams to Gateway.
Another organization calling Gateway home will be Steel City Hockey. It’s expected to have 600-900 players this season. Peter Caco has been owner and operator of the organization for the past 17 years. He has also joined with the Canadian Independent Hockey Federation to run a noncontact development league beginning in October.
“Over the years, people have asked me, ‘When are you going to start your own winter league?’” Caco said. “I told them ‘When I get a rink’. Then the word got out that this rink was going to be built. They want me to be the main user.”
Trombetta says public ice rental fees of $235 per hour are competitive with other rates in the city. Gateway is located near another privately-funded indoor recreational site — Players Paradise. Its artificial turf is used for a variety of sports.
“It will have a natural stone feel,” arena project manager Tony Falasca said in reference to the exterior’s eventual appearance. “It will look sharp.”
“These guys are really stepping up to the plate as an ownership group.”
Article courtesy of the Hamilton Spectator