Planned fixes to Calgary’s Shouldice football complex nears fundraising end zone
One more big push is needed get its completion into the end zone.
A fundraising huddle Friday evening will play a big role in putting the finishing touches on the amateur football complex at Shouldice Park, said ex-CFLer Tony Spoletini.
“This dinner’s not going to complete the fundraising but it will bring awareness to what needs to be done and why,” said Spoletini, who’ll be keynote speaker at the banquet at the Calgary Red and White Club at McMahon Stadium.
After garnering $8 million that’s built three artificial turf fields at Shouldice Park and is now providing paved parking lots between them, the remaining goal is to raise $3 million.
It’ll provide changing facilities and washrooms in a plaza that will tie the complex together, said Spoletini.
“Right now, it’s like having a home without the fixtures — you’ve got these three beautiful fields but you don’t have these dressing rooms or bathrooms,” said Spoletini, vice-president of the Calgary Greater Amateur Football Association (GCAFA).
“It would make it probably one of the premier facilities, having these three fields in close proximity … you’re able to give these kids a longer season.”
For now, lacking those final amenities is costing Shouldice Park provincial and national football competitions, said Spoletini.
It also symbolizes how far Calgary’s fallen behind Edmonton and even much smaller Saskatoon in providing such amateur facilities, said Spoletini.
“Edmonton was more pro-active,” he said.
But the one-time Stampeder and Edmonton Eskimo is confident that can be remedied, especially considering sports other than football stand to gain from a completed Shouldice Park.
It hosts field lacrosse, field hockey, soccer and ultimate frisbee, noted Spoletini.
But for Spoletini’s first athletic love, the project will supply a greater impetus for an amateur football scene that’s greatly nurtured the sport.
“It’s amazing when you look at how Calgary bantam football has impacted the opportunity to play college and professional football,” he said.
The campaign is also seeking a major corporate or private sponsor, whose name could grace the plaza or other component, said Spoletini.
For more information on the project and Friday night dinner, go to shouldicefootball.ca