Future events include dog agility competition this August


SAINT JOHN – Recent national track and field events hosted at the Irving Oil Field House (IOFH) are a clear indication that sports tourism is on the rebound in Saint John.

The IOFH opened in 2019 as one Atlantic Canada’s premiere indoor sporting facilities. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 and 2021, large scale sporting events were not possible.

From March 26 to April 2, the IOFH hosted the Athletics Canada & Canadian Masters Indoor Championship, and U SPORTS Track & Field Championship. Bill MacMackin, President of the Greater Saint John Field House Inc., said these were the largest sporting events held since opening.

“We were very satisfied,” said MacMackin, who is also president of the Saint John Track & Field Club.  “People loved the facility. Volunteers were friendly and awesome. The events went off exceptionally well for the first time in this facility.”

MacMackin said this was first time the U SPORTS Track & Field Championship was held in Atlantic Canada. Combined with the Canadian Masters, close to 1,000 athletes, coaches and officials were welcomed to the IOFH and the City of Saint John.

MacMackin said the two events had an estimated economic spin-off of between $1.5-million and $2-million for the region.

He said the success of the events bodes well for the future at the IOFH.

“We look to host one to two major events each year,” he said. “We are still assessing for 2023 but do expect to host the Atlantic University Conference Champs and may have one other national event on the schedule.”

Up next for the IOFH is hosting the UK International (UKI) Canadian Open Agility competition this August. At this event, between 300 and 400 teams of dogs and their handlers from across North America will showcase their abilities in agility, jumping, speedstakes, and game class competitions.

For details on this event, visit: https://irvingoilfieldhouse.com/2022/01/24/dog-agility-competition-at-the-irving-oil-field-house/