SAINT JOHN, N.B. — Canada’s elite track community praised the opening a new indoor track facility in Saint John, N.B. recently.
The Irving Oil Field House containing the Ellis-MacMackin Track officially opened Nov. 9.
The 127,000-square-foot facility, operated by the YMCA of Greater Saint John, includes two artificial turf surfaces, a walking track, a fitness centre and child-care and after-school programs as well as Newcomer Connections services.
Runners World wrote, “For the first time, thanks to the efforts of a diverse team of investors and stakeholders headed by Saint John, N.B. runner, track coach, business owner and community builder Bill MacMackin, eastern Canada now has an indoor track facility capable of hosting national-calibre meets.”
The field house opened after 21 months of construction and six years of planning and fundraising, the runners website noted, with construction launched in February 2018.
The owner is the Province of New Brunswick and the general contractor was Lindsay Construction.
The Province is listed as the architect.
Irving Oil paid for naming rights and the name was announced in September.
The track is named for MacMackin and Saint John Track and Field Club founder Walter Ellis, who died in 1995. The field house is located in East Saint John.
Runners World reported the new track will host six meets over the winter including the Atlantic University Championships, the Atlantic Age-Class Championships and the Canadian Masters Championships.
In 2021 it will host the U Sports national indoor championships.