Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Soccer boards find a new home

Property set to be torn down this fall

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Neil Hiebert has found a new home in Minnedosa for the soccer boards.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Enlarge Image

Neil Hiebert has found a new home in Minnedosa for the soccer boards. Photo Store

The mothballed boards of an indoor soccer facility in Headingley have found a new home in Minnedosa.

The cost? Nothing more than a charitable tax receipt for $25,000.

Neil Hiebert, president of Brookdale Properties, acquired the Cover-All Sportsplex as part of a deal for land across the Trans-Canada Highway, where his company is partnering on a residential development. He managed to sell off the structure to an industrial storage company planning to tear it down this fall and rebuild it in Winnipeg, but he wasn't able to find a buyer for the boards.

Then Minnedosa community volunteer Wes Barrett saw the story in last week's Free Press outlining Hiebert's problem, and he jumped all over it. He went to Headingley, checked the boards out, confirmed they could also be used for hockey and consummated a deal the same day.

The boards won't be put into use right away, however. The town is exploring options to replace its 60-year-old indoor rink. When a new $9-million facility is built, hopefully sometime in the next couple of years, the boards will be brought out of storage.

They will be used for hockey in the winter and baseball and soccer in the summer, he said.

"Our hockey numbers and participation are not growing, but these other activities that we didn't grow up with are definitely strong. We have a strong rugby program. The plan is to use the facility year-round and have all the amenities in it," Barrett said.

Hiebert was also very happy.

"It will save Minnedosa a bundle of money, and we found a home for the boards. It's the best possible outcome," he said.

The boards were originally purchased in 2004 for $118,000, but they haven't seen any action for a couple of years. Barrett estimated it would cost $200,000 to buy new rink boards today.

The Minnedosa group is taking the boards down this week, a process that will take two or three days, and will then take them on the highway.

This isn't the first salvage effort made in Minnedosa. More than 1,000 seats from the old Canad Inns Stadium, former home to the Winnipeg Blue Bombers, were bought before it was demolished.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 28, 2014 B9

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