The Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA)celebrated the grand opening of the MEGlobal Athletic Park with special guests and dignitaries on Saturday, May 7th. In celebration of the completion of phase one of the field house upgrades, the park hosted the Central Alberta Buccaneers for an exhibition game against the Airdrie Irish. 

Before the game, dignitaries gave a short presentation and a ribbon cutting ceremony. The MEGlobal Athletic Park officially opened for the first time in 2012. Since then, the LAPA, County and City of Lacombe, Wolf Creek Public Schools, and MEGlobal have worked together for its expansion. 

MP, Blaine Calkins said it is uncommon to see that sort of collaboration. 

“There's just a whole lot of forward-thinking people that don't see don't see barriers. We see opportunities and they just push and drive through and that's what's absolutely fantastic. This doesn't happen everywhere. This this kind of facility is not everywhere in communities this size. We're very, very fortunate here in Lacombe,” said Calkins. 

Wolf Creek Public School division is looking forward to making use of the facility for classes, events, and athletics. 

“This facility will serve the youth of this community and beyond. It will offer a class venue for many future events, both in the short and in the long term.  I understand that the local association who will manage the facility carries the motto ‘play like the pros’. We have evidence before us today that [this project] certainly exemplifies this,” said Tim De Ruyck, Wolf Creek Public Schools Superintendent. 

The field house expansion included the following items:

  • Expanded washroom space including accessible washroom space
  • Increasing seating capacity from 1,500 spectators to 2,500 spectators
  • The addition of two full size dressing rooms
  • Expanded indoor viewing and meeting area
  • A second wheel chair ramp  

The expansion phase will include a professional grade running track, and track and field items including the following: 

  • Steeplechase specifications
  • Long jump and triple jump pit specifications
  • Pole vault and runway specifications
  • High jump pit and runway
  • Javelin runway and landing area
  • Discus and hammer ring
  • Shot put ring and landing area
  • Fully automatic timing

Deputy Mayor of Lacombe, Cora Hoekstra says there are several benefits towards having access to professional grade athletic equipment and facilities within the City. 

“First of all, it will serve our citizens and our athletes whether they are young or old. This is a place that they can play hard but on a different level, it will attract people to the City. We can host events like none other and that is exciting,” said Hoekstra. 

Although the facility is a win for the community, the Central Alberta Buccaneers weren’t able to find a victory that afternoon. They lost to Airdrie Irish 24-12 during the exhibition game. The Bucs will see the Irish again soon as they kick off their official season on June 4th where they face Airdrie on the road.