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City purchases Richmond Ice Centre

By Don Fennell

Published 4:27 PDT, Wed October 23, 2019

Last Updated: 10:14 PDT, Tue October 29, 2019

The Richmond Ice Centre is now owned by the City of Richmond.

Ensuring long-term access to the six rinks, and providing residents another community recreation asset, the move to purchase the facility is being well received. Reaction from the Richmond Arenas Community Association, which oversees day-to-day operations, and staff has been “extremely positive,” says city spokesperson Clay Adams.

Part of the Riversport Sports and Entertainment complex, the Richmond Ice Centre opened in 1994 and has six regulation-size ice rinks. It is home to Richmond Jets Minor Hockey, Richmond Ringette, Richmond Ravens Female Hockey, Connaught Skating Club and Coast (adult recreation) Hockey, and also offers year-round skating and lessons, as well as dry floor rink access and tournament capacity for up to 50 teams. Until now, the centre was privately owned, with the city paying annual lease costs—funds that will now assist in supporting much-needed infrastructure upgrades to the facility and allow it to operate for several more decades. 

The city will work closely with the Richmond Arenas Community Association and user groups to identify priority areas for upgrades, and opportunities to enhance the functionality of the Richmond Ice Centre. It will bring the number of city-owned ice sheets to 10, complementing the two at Minoru Arena and two at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

When the lease came up for renewal in August, the city leveraged the opportunity to instead look at purchasing the Ice Centre. As a result, it now owns the building and the land on which it sits. There is no loss in asset or value to the city as a result of the deal.

“It’s a good investment. Something we should have done a long time ago—had we been able,” says Coun. Bill McNulty.

“Any time you can purchase and add to your repertoire is a very positive move,” he says. “There will never be enough facilities for all our needs. We can’t keep up with the expanding population growth.”

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