It’s just five days until Derry’s brand new leisure centre Foyle Arena opens it doors.
And already Derry City Council is looking ahead to the future with plans to redevelop Templemore Sports Complex.
With Foyle Arena a specialist centre for judo, wrestling and climbing - Templemore would most likely specialise in athletics and competitive swimming.
But Noel Munnis from Derry City Council says the sky is limit for something unique at Templemore.
“There could an the opportunity for indoor skiing and surfing,” he said.
Members of the local media were given a tour of the Foyle Arena this morning.
The centre will open to the public on Monday afternoon at 2 p.m. and operate seven days a week from 6.30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday and 9-6 on weekends.
Not only does the centre have a superb 25 metre pool, it also has a children’s pool, fulled equipped fitness suite, arena, strength and conditioning room, cafe, football pitches, hockey pitches, village changing facilities for families, physiotherapy room, ice bath, and sauna and steam room.
But the part of the centre that really has the wow factor is The Wall.
Measuring just over 15 metres, Noel Munnis says they already have had enquiries from all over Northern Ireland for the wall.
“People will travel here just for the wall,” he said.
“The interest is unbelievable. If you want to climb, you’ll come to Derry to do this, No one who has come in here hasn’t been wowed by the wall. The interest is so great we know that the wall will fill hotel rooms.”
The Foyle Arena is also offering pool, football and wall birthday parties as part of their new programme.
The downstairs arena can seat up to 2,000 people for competition and events and the Foyle Arena even has an occasional bar licence for entertainment events.
Already people have booked the Arena for events as far away as 2019.
The cafe tender closes next week and is expected that within four weeks the cafe facilities will be up and running.
See Friday’s Journal for full story on Foyle Arena.