In the words of Canadian novelist W.P Kinsella, “If you build it they will come,” and the official opening of downtown Moncton’s new event centre certainly brought them in.
“It’s Moncton’s building but it’s a regional building. Like we tell everybody it’s the best building in the country in this market. I think the future is bright,” says Nick DeLuco, general manager with SMG Canada, the company hired to run the city-owned facility.
The naming rights were announced on Thursday, with Avenir winning the tenure. Avenir is a New Brunswick-based audiology company with hearing clinics across the country.
Avenir translated from French means future, a fitting name as this facility is the first stage in revitalizing Moncton’s downtown core.
“The future is bright in Moncton. Downtown is going to boom with this building here,” explains DeLuco.
Many who spent Saturday checking out the building were blown away.
“It’s going to do amazing things,” said one attendee.
“I liked the hockey rink and I also liked how they designed the place,” said an 11-year-old boy.
The $113-million event centre includes an arena and outdoor plaza with a bandstand, rink, park and gazebo. On the inside, there’s 8,800 seats for hockey, and depending on stage set up, a little less for concerts.
The Avenir Centre’s first show is a Keith Urban concert, slated for Wednesday.