MONCTON – City officials want you to know what the new Events Centre looks like and how to get there without being stalled in traffic and struggling to find a parking spot.
Deputy Mayor Greg Turner and Communications Director Isabelle LeBlanc took a few members of the media for a tour inside the centre Thursday. Turner also announced the launch of MyBestOption.ca, a website where residents can find ways to get to the facility.
The website is part of a campaign launched by the city, Downtown Moncton Centre-ville Inc., operator SMG and the Moncton Wildcats.
“There will be a map [on the website] that you can just click on which direction you’re coming from to get to downtown. And it’ll ask you, are you walking? Are you biking? Do you need ability transit? It’ll ask you all those options,” Turner said.
There are options for free on-street parking, paid parking in publicly- and privately-owned lots, a designated drop-off zone for those with mobility challenges, on-site accessible parking, public transit, walking and biking, among others. Those looking for parking can also use the Hotspot Parking app, Turner said.
Communications Manager Nicole Melanson said, currently, there are more than 1,600 metered and non-metered on-street parking in the downtown area, with metered spots being free after 6 PM.
There are nearly 550 City off-street spaces, including the parking garage between Church and Alma Streets, and city-owned lots at City Hall and near Riverfront Park. There are also 24 spots designated for those with the blue handicap card at the Events Centre and over 300 spaces secured by the Moncton Wildcats and SMG for season ticket holders and Club Suite holders.
More private lots will be made available, though the numbers of those spaces are not yet specified.
For those using buses, Turner said Codiac Transpo will extend services on the Blue and Green lines.
“If it’s 9,000 fans there will be more buses than 5000 spectators. The routes will be extended. It will go later in the evening, depending on the event,” he said. “Everything else will be in constant review. We’ll have a debriefing and if we see we have to add more or do things differently, we will react accordingly as we go along.”
Turner also said other options similar to Uber might open up in the future.
“We’re a growing city, so who knows what the possibilities could be?”
A sneak peek inside the new centre
Inside, on the first floor of the centre, the lobby opens to a ticketing booth and a Wildcats merch store on each side, a hallway towards floor seatings, and escalators towards balcony seatings on the second floor.
There is also a community room that can be rented by members of the public with a door to the plaza outside. A kitchen that could serve 900 plates, rooms for performers and athletes, and a VIP lounge can also be found inside, among other facilities.
You will get a look inside yourself at an open house for the public that will take place in the fall before the Centre hosts its first event. Australian country singer Keith Urban will be the first performer at the centre with a show September 12.