Hockey Association moves forward with plans to build new ice rink
SPIRIT LAKE, Iowa (KTIV) - A group in Spirit Lake, Iowa hopes approval "slides" through for a 34,000 square foot ice rink.
Right now hockey players and ice skaters only have an outdoor ice rink to use.
Windy weather creates rough ice and oftentimes the rink is covered with snow.
The Lakes Area Hockey Association is the non-profit organization behind the "Rink of Dreams" as they call it.
It would cost $2.7 million, and would be built on 3 acres of land near the YMCA. Next month they'll start their major sponsorship drive, and then end with a community wide fundraiser.
"And then break ground in late June maybe early July of next year," said Brian Sudbrink with the Lakes Area Hockey Association.
The rink would seat 250-people, boast five locker rooms, a community meeting room, and much more.
(More on the pro's & con's)
Youth hockey has become a popular sport in the Iowa Great Lakes. Some Iowa athletes have been hitting the ice for a couple of years now.
"It's fun cause we can just skate around with our friends, and have fun," said Youth Hockey Player David Sudbrink.
There are challenges to skating on their current outdoor rink.
"We really fight the elements any time it snows it's real hard to conduct practice," said Brett Hetland with the Lakes Area Hockey Association.
Officials say an indoor rink would keep the league off of "thin ice," and benefit the area. Parents and coaches with the Lakes Area Hockey Association believe an indoor rink will boost particpation in the sport.
They estimate that holding just five youth hockey tournaments would bring 1,200 people to the area. That means, 735 hotel room nights would be sold, and nearly 5,000 meals would be served at local restaurants. The association says the growth would be good for the area, just as their program has seen growth the last ten years.
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Brett Hetland says, "And we've grown now to a program where we're certified 13-coaches with USA Hockey and we have over 50 players."
that could take this outdoor sport indoors in the next two years