The Central Alberta Buccaneers Senior football team is heading back to its roots.
The Bucs have been playing home games at ME Global Park in Lacombe for several years now but recently announced plans to set up camp at Setters place at Great Chief Park in Red Deer for the 2018 season.
“The new facility was something we definitely couldn’t ignore and once we started looking at the logistics of it and just what the city offers, it wasn’t an easy decision to make but at the same time it was a no brainer,” said Vince Roth, Co-chair of the Buccaneers Board of Directors.
One of the key components of the offer to play at GCP was the fact the Bucs would be able to operate a beer garden, something they were not allowed to do in Lacombe.
In the Bucs early days, the beer garden was a drawing card in some respects, especially on a hot summer night. Roth says while the bill to rent GCP is higher the beer garden will likely offset that cost differential.
It’s not the only reason for the move south back to Red Deer.
“We’ve had sponsors in the past express their desire for us to move back to Red Deer so they can get their brand in front of more people.”
The Bucs will be able to operate a concession at the refurbished Great Chief Park and of course after years of trying to get a synthetic field at the site, the turf is finally down and ready for play.
The bigger, more modern dressing rooms will be shared by all football teams using the park and Roth says that’s not anything different than what they had at ME Global.
The team had asked a few questions about renting the facility shortly after the new year and the answers they got back were acceptable, so a deal was done.
Roth says it looks like the Bucs will continue to practice out in Lacombe but the feeling is more fans might take in a game in Red Deer due to the easy access and a larger population base. He emphasized the fact while the team is leaving Lacombe they are not forgetting about the community.
“Our community stuff will continue on there, all the food drive work will happen and as far as coming to Red Deer we’re just going to bring more of what we do in Lacombe to Red Deer,”he said.
The move doesn’t mean a name change for the team back to Red Deer.
“It’s still a Central Alberta team. I mean we’ve got guys from Olds, Rocky Mountain House, Stettler,” said Roth. “Central Alberta still makes sense as a team name.”
It seems to be a win, win situation for all involved. The Bucs open the season June 9th.