A Calgary group is working on a study it hopes will lead the way to an indoor training and recreation centre for several different sports.
The Calgary Multisport Fieldhouse Society is studying how feasible a new fieldhouse would be in the city.
Society chair Doug Ratzlaff said ideally the facility would be similar to Edmonton's Universiade Pavilion — better known as the Butterdome —with:
- Several indoor track lanes.
- Two infields for discus, shot put and pole vaulting.
- Volleyball and basketball courts.
- Artificial turf infield soccer, football, ultimate Frisbee.
- Modular hard court flooring to cover the turf for basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton.
- Spectator seating to accommodate national and international events.
Ratzlaff said high school teams, fitness programs and people with disabilities could all use the fieldhouse.
"They would like to have more facilities and places to run their programs, and if you can have an indoor facility with consistent weather and a place for them to train and to have programs, I think it reaches to a large other area," he told CBC News on Monday.
He said Calgary is lagging behind other major Canadian cities when it comes to recreational centres.
"The problem is we have thousands of runners right now and maybe eight facilities to help accommodate them," said kinesiologist and marathon runner Amy Barnett.
The Olympic Oval is one of the few public facilities currently available to runners who want to use an indoor track for distance training.
"There's hundreds and hundreds of runners on a little two-lane track. And it's scary because you have people doing interval training and other people just want to go for a jog; they have earphones on and they can't hear these people whizzing past," said Barnett.
The preferred site for the proposed sportsplex — estimated to be between $80 million to $160 million — is in the northwest Foothills Athletic Park.
The feasibility study, which could take up to six months, will determine which features need to be included in the facility and how much it will all cost.
A city spokesperson told CBC News the proposed fieldhouse fits into the 10-year plan for the Foothills and Glenmore athletic parks, but the city has not yet committed any funding to the idea.