Sudbury City Hall

Fabio Belli Foundation lays game plan for new sports dome

The leaders of the Fabio Belli Foundation released their game plan for a proposed sports dome named in honour of the late city councillor.

Group relying on volunteer power, reinstatements of annual $25k city grant

The Fabio Belli Foundation is hoping the city reinstates a $25,000 annual grant to the group, that ran the Sudbury Regional Soccer Association. (File)

The leaders of the Fabio Belli Foundation released their game plan for a proposed sports dome named in honour of the late city councillor.

It appears the group will be relying on teamwork with city partners to achieve its goals.

At a presentation to city council Monday night, foundation co-chair Dino Moretta said the group was hoping to establish the facility on a "not for profit bedrock."

"We believe that's the best way to ensure it's a low-cost facility," Moretta said. "So we can offer low-cost, or no-cost programs."

As for money, the group asked the city to reinstate an annual $25,000 grant it gave to the Sudbury Regional Soccer Association before the closure of Sudbury's indoor soccer facility.

The core of the Fabio Belli Foundation also ran operations of the facility, experience Moretta said will be key for the future operation of the dome.

"[When we operated the facility] we were able to run a sustainable business," Moretta said. "All we had was the $25,000 grant. So we have the experience, we have the connections in place."

The dome is expected to be on the grounds near Lasalle Secondary School in New Sudbury.

The group would also like the city to open up the parking lot on Sparks Street, which would allow freer access to the proposed dome.

In addition to providing the land for the dome, the Rainbow District School Board is also chipping in $1.1 million to lay artificial turf.

Four million in provincial money, announced earlier this month, will then be used for the construction of the dome covering the field.

Community-based mandate for sports dome

Co-chair Jean-Gilles Laroque also eased fears that the Rainbow School Board's heavy involvement in the dome up to this point may give nearby schools — Lasalle and Carl Nesbitt Public School — an unfair advantage when it comes to booking times at the facility.

"But again, Rainbow District School Board has in mind, along with the Fabio Belli Foundation, that this is for the community, not for a specific school board," he said.

"I work for the Sudbury Catholic District School Board, so I personally hope we would have access."

The group hopes to start construction on the dome sometime this year, with it fully operational in 2019.

With files from Casey Stranges