Ice Skating Training Facilities

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Executive Summary
of
Feasibility Study

Does it make economic sense to build and operate a new ice rink?
       The prospects of constructing a new ice skating facility depends a lot on the economic conditions, demographics, climatic conditions of the geographic site, and both existing and potential expansion of the market base of youth, adults, and seniors who will provide the necessary financial support insuring success of the project.

       Specific ice rink proposals may be advanced after completing a comprehensive demographic analysis and feasibility study with detailed revenue and expense projections:
  • Minimum outdoors refrigerated 85 x 200 National Hockey regulation seasonal rink operation with warming area. Usually without any amenities except for public rest rooms. No spectator seating.
  • Minimum indoor refrigerated 85 x 200 National Hockey regulation size ice surface; year round rink operation with minimum amenities such as two locker rooms, public rest rooms, skate rental, and snack vending machines. No or very limited spectator seating.
  • Indoor refrigerated 100 x 200 Olympic size ice surface operating year round with amenities such as four locker rooms, public rest rooms, skate rental & repair, sports shop, and minimum menu food service. Limited spectator seating.
  • Indoor dual refrigerated 100 x 200 Olympic size ice surface and 85 x 200 National Hockey regulation size ice surface; operating year round with amenities such as eight locker rooms, public rest rooms, skate rental & repair, sports shop, and expanded menu food service. Under 1,000 spectator seating in Olympic rink and no seating in National Hockey League rink.
  • Indoor dual refrigerated 100 x 200 Olympic size arena with up to 3,000 spectator seating and 85 x 200 National Hockey regulation size ice surface with limited seating; operating year round with amenities such as eight locker rooms, public rest rooms, skate rental & repair, sports shop, and expanded snack menu and full seat down food service. May apply for wine and beer license.
    The following are important positive pre-conditions that will insure the success of a new ice skating facility:
  • The support of the local park and recreation department and the community to fund the construction athletic and recreational facilities for youth, adults, and seniors of the community.
  • The willingness of the local school districts to support a wide variety of boys and girls varsity and junior varsity intramural sports and intermural activities.
  • The existence of established supporting organizations/clubs:
    • Curling
    • Speed Skating
    • Hockey
    • Figure Skating
       It is important to develop a project proposal with built-in expansion as part of the design plan so the initial permit process allows for expansion when the demand exceeds the scheduling potential of the initial ice surface. Such a visionary concept allows the initial design to incorporate the expansion so it can be seamlessly added. This will lower the cost and allow access to existing and new amenities to have complimentary interior foot traffic patterns rather chaotic or confusing movement of spectators and skaters.

Spectator seating and a comfortable heated arena environment with permanent seating
       Economically constructed rinks can be designed without sufficient clear span to incorporate unobstructed spectator seating in the rink; however, some do provide views from behind glass enclosed and heated areas on the ends of the rink's main structure. This is a nice feature as these areas make the time spent at practice sessions much more enjoyable for parents than having to endure freezing temperatures and dampness that is bone chilling.

       Facilities that have multiple ice surfaces should consider constructing an arena with permanent style seating on one side with a capacity of 1,500 spectators and room to expand the seating to the remaining three sides for a total 4-5,000 seats.

       Ice arenas with 3-5,000 seating (minor league/college event arenas) are very conducive to holding major curling, speed, hockey, and figure skating competitions of local, regional, and national importance that can not begin to fill the larger and more expensive to rent Sports Arenas designed for professional basketball and hockey teams. Spectator events are important revenue generators and provide a marketing tool to attract new business to the smaller event arenas.

       Some communities have a need for dry floor activities such as trade shows, conventions, stage productions, etc. that can be booked in the off season when all ice sports have ended their competitive season.

       An ice arena, with theater style seating and multipurpose concrete floors, can be an excellent asset for trade shows, concerts, circus, and other theatrical events, especially when a mutually beneficial partnership with a hotel can be achieved that is in close proximity to the arena.

       In the late spring and summer, ice skating activities can be easily accommodated in one or two non spectator seating practice rinks adjacent to the main arena. When hockey activities fall off, figure skating is beginning to gear up for a very intense spring and summer training schedule in preparation for the next competitive season.  Refer to Training Stages and Sports Activity Schedules.

Expanding the number of ice surfaces does not double the operation expenses
       The operation of a multiple ice surface facility benefits from the ability to use more efficient staffing  and sharing of essential refrigeration, zamboni, locker rooms, sports shop, food court, skate rental/repair, and administrative expenses.

       Some areas can acquire a minor league hockey franchise and high school/college hockey teams that will fill the arena with spectators on a regular basis.

An ice skating facility can be part of a hub for other community sports and recreational activities
       In cold winter climates it is not unusual for Schools and the County Parks and Recreation Department to provide natural ice November through mid March and indoor artificial ice rinks from September through April.   Some even conduct  4 - 6 week summer sessions for hockey and figure skating schools/clinics.

       In colder climates it is common to construct indoor swimming pools, tennis, soccer, and lacrosse fields besides the traditional high school basketball/wrestling gymnasiums with many college and universities constructing facilities and hosting gymnastics and indoor track teams.

References:
  • City of Miami Beach - Parks and Recreation  The gymnasium, patio, swimming pool and ice rink will remain open during renovations. Thank you for your patience and cooperation.. The Scott Rakow Youth Center

  • City of Monroe Recreation  Indoor program facilities are coordinated by the Recreation Department in cooperation with local schools. Most indoor programs are conducted in the fall and winter.
Monroe Multsports Complex The City, through the Monroe Building Authority, built the Monroe Multi Sports Complex, which opened in February 1998.  Designed to be a multi use facility, one side is meant to be a permanent ice rink while the other side can be used as an additional ice or for indoor sports or convention type activities.  In addition to main floor activities there are meeting rooms on the second floor.  The building is equipped with locker room facilities, skating pro shop, and concession area, and video arcade.
  • City of Kirkwood   Kirkwood Parks and Recreation Ice Rink. Spotlight. Saturday Ice Skating ... nationally recognized schools, vibrant business community, and its involved residents. The Kirkwood Ice Rink is open year round, Even in the sweltering heat of the summer, you can still cool off on the ice.
  • St. Louis   June 6, 2001 ... Webster Groves was among the first to build a major aquatic center.
  • In the decade since St. Charles became the first city in the region to transform its city swimming pool into a water playground, huge multimillion dollar aquatic parks have sprouted around the St. Louis suburban area. St. Charles now has three outdoor water parks.  The aquatic parks and recreation centers are so popular here that voters in several cities have approved large tax increases to build them while turning down more money for their public schools.
In nearby St. Peters, officials had set another standard for indoor recreation when they decided to build the $16 million Rec-Plex, which opened in 1994.  It also has two ice arenas, one indoor and one covered but outdoors, as well as a double sized gym with an elevated walking track, a rock- climbing wall, a fitness center, baby sitting services and a 6,000 square foot food court serving such treats as hamburgers, hot dogs, pizza and ice cream.

Resources:
  1. Park and Recreation owned and operated community rinks
  2. Church Owned and Operated Community Centers
  3. Private Membership Skating Clubs
  4. Privately Owned Rinks Open to Public
  1. Market Analysis Summary
  2. Amenities and Services
  3. Naming Rights
  4. Strategy and Implementation Summary
  5. School and Community Programs & Activities
  6. Charter Schools     High School of the Arts
  7. Competitive & Recreation Athletes Health & Wellness Services
  8. Management Summary
  9. Job Descriptions
  10. Financial Plan
  11. Ice Rink Executive Summary
References:
Resources:

The following internet links have been gleaned from personal communications
combined with information from public institutions and athletic organizations/
associations that have a web presence with information concerning team and
individual sports programs:

The Ultimate Ice Skating Facility
Introduction
Planning a New Ice Skating Rink
Summary - Developing New Ice Skating Rinks
Executive Summary
Formulating a Rink Proposal
Feasibility Study
Demographics
Business Financial Structures
Rink Feasibility Study
Facility Design Issues
Facilities Concerned with Design
Design Principles
Ice Skating Rink Business
PDF  When Bigger is Better
PDF  How An Ice Arena Works

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