A driver gets some air on the 4x4 track at the Sixth Avenue Sports Bowl during Brigade Days last September.

A driver gets some air on the 4x4 track at the Sixth Avenue Sports Bowl during Brigade Days last September.

Hope Sports Bowl to get upgrades

Council and Hope Motorsports Groups agree to improve facility

Council has agreed to work with Hope Motorsports Group to improve the Sixth Avenue Sports Bowl.

The non-profit organization is in the process of acquiring about 1,500 donated no post guard rails to reinforce the terraced seating area and increase spectator capacity at the Sports Bowl. The district has committed to using the guard rails in the future design project.

“I think we’ve come to an understanding about how we want to do this with minimal requirements from the district,” said Coun. Scott Medlock during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting. “Hope Motorsports Group just wants to get authority to take this project and make it happen the right way.”

Couns. Donna Kropp and Ron Smith also expressed how happy they were to see council working with community groups towards Sports Bowl improvements.

“I think really excellent projects happen as a result of that initiative to think about new projects and new ways to do things with materials we already have,” said Smith. “I think it’s a really great way to repurpose the no posts.”

The district recently partnered with Advantage Hope, Pathway Partners and Hope Motorsports Group on a community recreation park proposal in the 1100 block of Seventh Ave. The provincial grant application for the project totalled $428,629 and includes Sports Bowl upgrades, expansion of the skatepark, creation of a bike park, construction of a picnic area, walking trails and interpretive signage.

After 40 years, proper walkways, stairs, bleachers and fencing are needed at the Sports Bowl to make it safe for visitors.

If the grant is approved, chief administrative officer John Fortoloczky said the district would allow Hope Motorsports Group to tender for that portion of the design. They would be asked to bid for the the sale and installation of the guard rails to the district, and be able to recoup their transportation costs. Fortoloczky said the district will still move forward with improvements, in consultation with Hope Motorsports Group, if the grant is not approved. However, the organization would then be responsible for covering the transportation costs for the guard rails.

“In either case, the financial liability assumed by the district is limited and in our opinion acceptable,” he added. “Any future design of the Sports Bowl would be configured in such a way that the maximum number of stakeholder groups could use it with the least amount of friction or damage when reconfiguring for events.”