Thursday, May 15, 2014

Bowie to get a new two-sheet rink

I've been attending city council meetings, not because I hang on every word from our local pols, but rather to lend support for a new ice arena in my home town.  Of course there have been several groups representing competing interests, all vying for council's ear and the limited funding which the town can muster.   These groups had agendas  supporting facilities ranging from an aquatic center, to more outdoor turf facilities,  to gymnasiums with basketball/volley ball courts, etc.  And yes, there were also groups against all of the above if taxes were to go up.  When it came down to a vote this past Tuesday evening, the council went 6 to 1 in favor of a multi-sports complex which includes a new two-sheet ice arena.

Hopefully once the new arena is functional there will be more opportunity for adult figure skaters during early evening hours when most working adults can actually use the ice.  For example it would be nice to have sessions specifically for ice dance.  Currently, ice dance lessons and practice take place during public sessions or free style sessions.  Neither are optimal, especially during the crowded holiday season or the run up to late winter/early spring competitions.  Another benefit of a two-sheet arena is that we should be able to avoid the dreaded two month annual maintenance closure that we currently endure each spring.  One sheet or the other should always be up.   

I am glad that the supporters of the new ice rink thought things through and didn't over reach by asking for a three-sheet arena.  The only facility near us with more than two sheets of ice is struggling financially, even with a strong hockey presence, and as a result one hears constant complaints about poor ice quality and other obvious cost cutting measures while at the same time charging over the odds.  I think we can support two sheets.  Three doesn't appear to be economically feasible--at least not in this area.

Anyway, you can read all about it here: 

Ironically,  by the time the new arena opens I'll probably be retired and thus will have the time flexibility to skate whenever it's convenient.  I have to keep reminding myself it isn't always about me!

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