Final whistle for the Baie d’Urfé sports dome as it plans to close this week
Just four years after opening, the Complexe Dôme Multi Sports Scitec in Baie d’Urfé is about to shut down.
The ambitious project has faced a long list of problems since it opened in 2014.
“I’ve basically given up,” said owner Philipp Schumacher. “I’ve done it all myself. I built it, I did everything.”
In the winter, plenty of people rent the dome, but in the summer he can’t compete with the great outdoors.
“When you’re paying $150,000 in municipal taxes, that’s about $12,000 per month. If I have nothing in the summer, $12,000 a month is a lot of money. Hydro is $4,000 a month. The lease of the land is over $30,000,” he explained.
The Lakeshore Soccer Club uses the dome a lot in the winter months.
“It’s always hard to find a spot for this many kids,” said Paymon Kabiri of the Lakeshore Soccer Club’s technical staff. “With all the programs we have, that’s what comes to mind is ‘what do we do in the winter?'”
The dome itself has caused problems since the beginning. An issue delayed the facility’s kick-off before it even opened, and sparked an ongoing legal battle with the company that built the dome.
“The only one making making money are the lawyers,” Schumacher said.
“Everyone else just gets bills and bills and bills.”
In 2016, the dome collapsed after a snow storm. Schumacher said he regrets not building a more permanent structure.
“With the dome, you have to learn the mechanical systems, the air pressure, the snow. You have to be up in the middle of the night in a snow storm,” he said.
About 15 minutes east in Lachine is Soccerplex Catalogna. In addition to their permanent indoor facility, they also erect a dome over several outdoor fields for half the year.
“If we put the dome on 12 months a year, we would lose all our summer leagues,” said Soccerplexe Catalogna Co-Ordinator Shelly Lewis.
Schumacher said he could only get a permit for a permanent dome.
At Catalogna, even their indoor fields are booked up during the summer.
“I think it’s their location and the fact they don’t take the dome off that’s hurting them,” Lewis said.
Schumacher says talks are still ongoing with a number of prospective buyers.
“Someone who has pockets can make it run,” he told Global News.
The lights will go out for the last time at the end of this week.