Local Man Wants Arena Discussion To Happen

Labadie’s proposed Chatham-Kent Sports Complex from his initial Facebook post

It seems it has been years since Chatham-Kent officially discussed a new twin pad arena and sports complex for the Municipality.

One local man, Ben Labadie, however, reignited the discussion on social media this week by posting an image of a possible sports complex (pictured above) for Chatham-Kent, and stating his desire to see this happen, along with his skepticism that it ever will.

“I have dreamed about this type of sports complex since I was a kid and now I have 2 kids aged 7 and 9 that I’m doubtful will see this dream come true either,” wrote Labadie. “Every city seems to have this type of sports complex with twin pad arenas, basketball courts, swimming, soccer, fitness zones and even libraries except our area. This is not an impossible idea, as it has been proven all over, over and over. I think its time. Let’s start the conversation. Comment, share etc. There is a big chunk of land on Richmond St. where a factory once was that a beautiful sports complex would be perfect for.”

And comment and share people did, as the initial post, which was made on Labadie’s real estate based Facebook page, garnered hundreds of likes, comments, and shares overnight.

Of course, most comments featured Chatham-Kent’s trademark style of aggressive, negative online comments, but many also engaged in a real discourse.

Many topics raised included where the funding would come from (Municipal vs. Private), how this would impact Chatham-Kent’s smaller communities (Chatham vs. Kent), and the fact that a consultation on a multi-sport indoor complex has already been held in the past twelve months (although that consultation didn’t involve arenas).

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  • comment-avatar
    Uly Bondy 5 years

    Great idea. Very badly needed for all of Chatham-Kent. Good job Ben. Let’s get it started.

  • comment-avatar
    Dan Emrich 5 years

    Hi I’m a tennis player and instructor who literally lived at the wheels when it was still open

    I don’t see on your drawing or in this article the word tennis courts… you don’t mention a cost and with the current non working economy I’m not sure who’s paying for this and I’m also reading how contaminated the old Navistar land is

    I have nothing against your idea but if I have money to invest it wouldn’t be in Chatham it would be in another city or basically leave this area and invest elsewhere

    Thanks for posting

    Good luck

  • comment-avatar
    Dan Emrich 5 years

    Nice idea any chance for year round tennis courts

    Our present economy as per lack of jobs may not be able to support this idea