The Foley City Council unanimously voted on Monday to bring an ice rink into the Foley Event Center, not only to expand its sports tourism offerings but also to encourage the Olympic dreams of some of its employees.
During a special meeting of the council, Foley Recreation and Sports Tourism Director David Thompson presented a comprehensive plan for a rink that can be set up and dismantled by the existing Foley Event Center and will be fully funded through sponsorship from a national sportsbook app that is trying to get into the youth club sports market.
“This rink will allow us to bring in figure skating, hockey, and much more,” Thompson said. “But it will also allow some of our building staff to perfect their curling game.”
The Foley Event Center staff has been lucky enough to employ an incredible father-and-son duo, Danny and Andrew Martin. They were a part of the crew who saw an increase in their cleaning duties thanks to the COVID pandemic, one of those duties was cleaning the 55,000 square-foot main floor. Danny and Andrew would bring fun to their work by reenacting some of their favorite curling matches. The pair used to watch the sport religiously when Andrew was a boy. His childhood bedroom was covered in posters of his favorite teams.
When David Thompson caught the Martins practicing with a dry mop and a partially deflated volleyball he saw how naturally talented they were and worked to find ways to develop that talent in ways that would benefit the city.
“When I asked Danny about his curling passion he explained what a growth sport it was. He said, ‘You know what you should do is put ice in here and it would open up a whole new market.’ He even knew a guy that could help us with the initial install,” Thompson recalled. “When the sportsbook app came to us with the idea of a massive sponsorship it was divine intervention.”
Thompson believes the pair might make it all the way to Bejing in 2022 if they’re able to recruit two more star players. They have been attempting to encourage Building Supervisor Jeff Ryan to join, but he has trouble getting up after delivering a stone so it’s a work in progress. While there is still a long way to go Andrew said he feels blessed with how far they’ve come and the opportunity to chase a lifelong dream.
“We are just grateful to all those parents out there who have shown enough interest in gambling on their kid’s sporting events that this sportsbook is willing to sponsor the ice,” Andrew said. “The next step will be to outfit one of the conference rooms as a VIP lounge with a cash bar and all the requests we’ve been getting on game day will be fulfilled. And it could fund an Olympics trip through what we make in tips.”
For more information on the new ice rink or to audition for the Martin’s curling team call 1-800-APRIL-FOOLS. Happy April Fools Day!