Posted by Paul, a resident of the Foothill Knolls neighborhood, on Apr 16, 2008 at 9:39 am
I've skated around in the arena industry as an owner/manager/consultant/player/coach/unameit here in the Bay Area for the past 20 odd so I'll give everyone the real heads up.
Personally, I've lost more money in this business than many earn in a lifetime.
I still have passion for the ice and the business, so I continue to promote ice skating through Holiday Ice venues etc.
In California, real estate is so valuable that it has become mission impossible to build new fulltime ice arenas.
Because we live in a fantastic climate and a diversified recreation region, ice skating arenas barely survive the competition from the more traditional sport activities.
Throughout North America, the National Hockey League has identified this issue and is now encouraging their local affiliates (Sharks) to develop community ice centers to help to promote the game of hockey and to bring the people a wonderful facilit addition for their cities.
Look no further than Dallas or Phoenix to see the success of this plan and the snowball effect it's created throughout Texas and Arizona.
Question: Will Dublin Iceland suffer at the hands of the new 4 ice rinks at Staples Ranch?
Answer: The ice skating community can work together to plan ahead and keep all of the ice centers open. We need more ice, not less ice.
Question: When the Oakland Ice Center opened, did it close Berkeley Iceland?
Answer: No. Berkeley Iceland developed new hockey and skating programs which in turn, put hundreds of new skaters on the ice.
Question: Why did Berkeley Iceland close?
Answer: They were cited by the city as having an unsafe refrigeration system and required changes that the Iceland Corp. could not afford.
Take it from this 45 year hockey vet.
These are the facts that many already know.
The Ice Arena business is not profitable.
Otherwise, we would see rinks everywhere.
Dozens of ice arenas in North America are now facing more difficult economic impacts and have either closed or may face closure very soon.
The financial power of the NHL and it's revenues from corporate sponsors through their affiliates are the solution to building and providing the public with community ice facilities.
Sorry for the run on, but I just want to help.
I fully support the efforts of our friends with SJAM and believe that we can work together to make their new facility the pride of Pleasanton.
Let's work together and build the ice for our future generations to enjoy.
FYI. Ice Oasis is up for sale.