Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

For sale: boards from soccer facility

Could make bargain hockey rink

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Developer Neil Hiebert says he'd be willing to settle for a tax receipt for the boards at this point.

PHIL HOSSACK / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS Enlarge Image

Developer Neil Hiebert says he'd be willing to settle for a tax receipt for the boards at this point. Photo Store

A local real estate developer is hoping to find a good home for the boards of a mothballed indoor soccer facility.

Brookdale Properties recently acquired the Cover-All Sportsplex in Headingley as part of a deal for some land across the Trans-Canada Highway, where it's planning to build a residential development.

Neil Hiebert, president of Brookdale, said the firm wasn't looking to get into the soccer business, so it sought a new owner for the 180,000-square-foot facility. It then struck a deal with an industrial storage company for the structure, which didn't want the boards, either. (It also didn't want to be named for this story.) "We've been having a whale of time finding somebody to buy the equipment," he said.

Hiebert said he's hopeful he can find a community centre that needs to rebuild an indoor soccer or hockey rink.

At 85 metres by 49 metres, it's a little shorter than an NHL-sized rink (61 metres by 26 metres) but there are plenty of rinks, both indoor and outdoor in Winnipeg, that are like that.

The receipts for the boards show they cost $118,000 in 2004, Hiebert said, but he hasn't been able to find an interested buyer even at less than 20 per cent of that price. Right now, he'd settle for a receipt for a charitable donation.

"If you set it up as a hockey rink, you might want to put a plywood backer on it. From everything I've been told, they can be used for hockey. It's the Winnipegger's dream -- they're cheap and you can get some hockey mileage out of them," he said.

The Cover-All facility has been dormant for a couple of years as the former owner grew tired of being a soccer landlord and was reluctant to invest in the facility.

Hiebert said he can't wait around forever. The new owner of the Sportsplex's building, which is mobile, is planning to tear it down and build it back up in Winnipeg this fall.

'We've been having a whale of time finding somebody to buy the equipment'

-- Neil Hiebert, president of Brookdale Properties

"If we don't get an offer, we'll take them down and put them in storage. But once they're a stack of dusty boards, it's hard to see the potential of them.

"If you took a bottle of Windex and a rag to them and wiped off the soccer-ball marks, they almost look new. It's really quite a solid structure," he said.

geoff.kirbyson@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 15, 2014 B4

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