Blades spearheading new inner city outdoor rink

Posted on April 19, 2016 in

Blades spearheading new inner city outdoor rink
Saskatoon Blades President Steve Hogle wants a new regulation-size outdoor rink to be built in the inner city.Liam Richards / Saskatoon StarPhoenix

A city committee has enthusiastically thrown its support behind the Saskatoon Blades as the organization seeks funding for a new regulation-size outdoor rink in the inner city.

“I can hardly wait for it to happen,” Mayor Don Atchison told colleagues on Monday.

The Blades hope to secure money for the rink from the Canada 150 Fund, which is doling out federal dollars to non-profits, businesses, schools and municipal governments for projects that contribute to building a sense of pride and attachment to Canada.

Following a unanimous vote by council’s governance and priorities committee meeting on Monday, Atchison will write a letter in support of the rink to bolster the Blades’ application.

Blades president Steve Hogle said hosting a winter festival on Jan. 1, 2017 to celebrate the grand opening of a new rink would be a “wonderful way” for the Bridge City to celebrate Canada’s 150th birthday.

Hogle would not say which neighbourhood the rink could be built in — he’s developed a shortlist of three with input from public school division staff — but said it would be centrally located.

“We want to have it where there is the greatest need,” he said. “We want to have a rink where people can walk. We don’t want to have a rink where people have to get in a car or get on a bus.”

Hockey sticks, skates and helmets would be available at the rink so people “have absolutely no excuse not to come to the rink and have some fun,” Hogle said. The fun would continue year-round; in summer, the rink could be used for basketball, soccer or street hockey.

Hogle would not disclose the projected cost of the rink, saying only that it is “significant.” He said the Blades are prepared to front money and seek corporate sponsorship even if no federal funding is secured.

Will the Blades ever play there? It’s far too early to think about that, Hogle said.

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