Irving Oil Donates $2-Million, And The Saint John Field House Gets A New Name

Image: Brad Perry/Country 94.

SAINT JOHN – The new field house in east Saint John will now be known as the Irving Oil Field House.

The new field house in east Saint John will now be known as the Irving Oil Field House.

The name was unveiled during a partnership announcement at the facility Monday morning. Irving Oil also announced $2 million toward the capital fundraising campaign for the 127,000-square-foot facility.

Bill MacMackin, president of the field house project, said the partnership is a huge boost for the project.

“It’ll mean we won’t have some of the debt that we thought we’d have to operate with as we started,” said MacMackin. “We still have a little bit of fundraising we’re doing for a few parts as we finish up the next few weeks and month, but this pushes us a long way along the line.”

The committee will be looking to raise another $300,000 to $400,000 over the coming months, MacMackin said.

The $27.3-million facility will feature two indoor turf fields for soccer and other field related activities, a running track, a fitness facility, community spaces, child-care and after-school programs, and a newcomer connections centre.

Ian Whitcomb, president of Irving Oil, said they first started talking with the project committee about two years ago.

“When the opportunity came up to support it and to be associated with it in a more prominent way than we normally would be, we said, you know what, it’s the right thing to do,” said Whitcomb. “It’s the right thing to do for our employees, it’s the right thing to do for the community, we’re all in.”

Whitcomb said Irving Oil has many partnerships but it is important to have their name associated with this project because it’s “a little bit out of the norm” for them.

Sarah Irving, executive vice president of Irving Oil, said the new field house embodies the values of teamwork and competition that make for strong communities and businesses.

“At its heart it’s a place for community, for great competition, for teamwork,” said Irving. “I think all of us from Irving Oil who are here today, and many who are here from the community, know that a lot of lessons are learned not only in the classroom but on the field, and with teams. Nothing can happen alone and it does take a team.”

The facility is expected to be fully open in October, MacMackin said.

Brad Perry is the news director at Country 94, an Acadia Broadcasting station. Acadia Broadcasting is a content partner with Huddle.