The Recreation Facilities Association of British Columbia (RFABC) has awarded the Bill Woycik Outstanding Facility Award to the City of Prince George for the recent renovations and improvements at Masich Place Stadium. The recently completed Masich Place renovation project has involved the installation of a new synthetic turf field, resurfaced synthetic track, a new jumps and throws areas, and an upgraded grandstand meeting FIFA, CFL, NFL, and IAAF standards.
The Outstanding Facility Award is awarded annually by the RFABC to a new or recently renovated recreation facility that meets community needs and features innovations in design, energy management, revenue generation, operations, maintenance, and services.
Masich Place Stadium’s new features and amenities include:
- New LED field lighting that reduces energy consumption 80-90% compared to the old lights.
- New LED multi-sport scoreboard with sound system.
- Accessibility improvements to the grandstand ramps, access routes, wheelchair viewing spaces, and accessible/companion seating.
- Universal washrooms and expanded change room capacity with roll-up doors.
- All interior lights have been replaced with LED lights and placed on motion sensors for reduced energy consumption.
The City of Prince George has also implemented a new operational model for the facility, which includes on-site staff to improve maintenance and security, while remaining open for public walking and booked use seven days a week from April to November.
The upgraded facility provides many benefits for Prince George and the surrounding region:
- Increased Earlier and later season play when natural turf fields are unavailable or damaged. In early April, the City was able to open the track and field to play weeks ahead of the opening of the City’s natural turf fields.
- Increased sport tourism with potential for regional, provincial, and national competitions. In 2017, the BC Games Society announced the 2022 BC Summer Games would be held in Prince George.
- Reduced travel costs and travel time for local and regional sports teams.
- Increased field capacity and revenues associated with over four times the usability of natural turf.
- Regular season play and sport development for groups such as UNBC Soccer, Minor Football, Rugby, and Lacrosse – organizations that previously did not have an outdoor field agreement.
The recently completed multi-year project was a $7.5M investment in the community, which included $3.2M from the UBCM Federal Gas Tax Strategic Priorities Fund, $250,000 in NDIT grant funding, and $141,455 from the federal Enabling Accessibility Fund. Nearly 30 organizations provided support letters to the City of Prince George for grant applications.
The city previously received the Award in 2014 for the Kin Centre Enhancement Project, and in 1994 for the Prince George Conference and Civic Centre. The Award itself was created to honour long-time City of Prince George employee Bill Woycik, who was the Manager of the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena – then known as the Prince George Coliseum. He later became Civic Properties Manager, Manager of the Civic Properties and Recreation Commission, and Director of Civic Properties and Recreation. Woycik was the eighth President (1962-1963) of the RFABC and Secretary-Treasurer of the Association from 1969 to 1976.