COMMENTARY: Ice skating, hockey enthusiasts finally getting their rink

Planning Commission OKs design of 2-story, 4-rink ice arena on Staples Ranch

Much attention is being paid these days to the outdoor ice skating rink being installed by a subsidiary of the San Jose Sharks on Old Bernal Avenue for the coming holiday season.

As much fun as that will provide the 10,000-20,000 expected to use it, it was the decision last week by the Planning Commission to approve the design of a permanent two-story, four-rink ice arena in Staples Ranch that will have a long-lasting economic impact for Pleasanton going forward.

Like the holiday ice skating rink, this new ice arena will be built and operated by the Sharks' San Jose Arena Management (SJAM) group. Its location is in a long-planned 17-acre Staples Ranch Community Park, with the Sharks using 8 to 10 acres for the arena and surrounding parking. In its petition to planners, SJAM upped the square footage from the original 116,000 square feet to 141,679, about the size of a typical Home Depot. Only the land lease has yet to be signed with negotiations continuing on how much financial help SJAM will provide for other community sports and park projects that at one time were planned for the Staples Ranch site.

SJAM operates all of the facilities associated with the Sharks, including the HP Pavilion where the hockey team plays, and "Sharks Ice" rinks in San Jose and Fremont, which are similar to what the group plans for Pleasanton. The new rink will offer everything related to any type of ice sports. These include both competitive and amateur hockey, hockey and skating teams for boys, girls, men and women, special ice hockey programs for the local high schools, figure skating, recreational skating and also special programs for the disabled. The Sharks' operators will also sponsor competitive meets that will draw crowds from throughout the region, adding to the economic benefits to Pleasanton.

An ice skating facility has been a long time coming to Pleasanton. Many will remember the hot August night nine years ago in the Senior Center when players with the Tri-Valley Blue Devils hockey team, dressed in full uniform, pleaded with the Bernal Task Force to build an ice arena on the newly-acquired Bernal Community Park. That didn't happen, but the Sharks' offer to build and operate its own arena here is better for Pleasanton financially and so is the location.

The arena site as part of the 124-acre Staples Ranch development project will be built alongside the planned four-lane extension of Stoneridge Drive that will connect to El Charro Road and Livermore. There, an expanded four-lane overpass has just been completed that connects to Dublin with a full interchange at interstate 580. That will allow the thousands of ice skating and ice hockey aficionados to easily reach the new Sharks arena from anywhere in the Bay Area without traveling on Pleasanton streets and Pleasanton fans also to reach the arena on Stoneridge without having to use the freeways.

With the Planning Commission's approval, the Sharks arena plan can now go to the City Council when it considers the full Staples Ranch development in the next few months.

Pleasanton Weekly editorial staff.

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Posted by Misinformation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2009 at 8:22 am


I think you're jumping the gun. The Staples Ranch plan, including the ice rink, just emerged from a lawsuit settlement, the supplemental EIR (subject of the suit) has not been adopted, and the entire project is still in question - both from a city approval standpoint as well as from the failing economy. True, the rubber-stamp Planning Commission (stacked with business and developer friendly commissioners appointed by Chamber front-woman Mayor Hosterman) has recommended approval, but the environmental issues are far from being resolved. This kind of misinformation sets unrealistic expectations in the community and disappointment if plans don't come to fruition. More honest reporting is in order here.

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Posted by Moreicewouldbenice
a resident of Gatewood
on Nov 14, 2009 at 9:18 am

Misinformation - You have some valid points, and to verify, "unrealistic expectations in the community and disappointment if plans don't come to fruition."
From my experience that place will get a lot of business. If you know local hockey you know ice time is a rare commodity at the present. This is why local kids had 5:35 am ice times for games and practice. If the can do it they are basically gauranteed non stop business.

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Posted by Misinformation
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2009 at 10:20 am


Your comments prove my point my point precisely!

There's more at stake here than ice for kids, which I agree, would be nice.

Here's something to ponder: When does misinformation from a Chamber-mouthpiece-rag like the PW transcend into political propaganda in support of special interests at the expense of the common good?

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Posted by resident
a resident of Downtown
on Nov 14, 2009 at 4:01 pm

misinformation -- the answer to that would be another question. When did the Weekly go into publication?

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Posted by RR
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 14, 2009 at 8:25 pm

so, if this gets built, does that mean we'll get our library parking back?

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Posted by unbelievable
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 16, 2009 at 9:49 am

I cannot believe that they put the ice rink in the library parking lot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Whose idea was that? There are other places they could have put it. There is an empty field right across the street!!!!! Also, where are people going to park???

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Posted by Curious
a resident of Del Prado
on Nov 16, 2009 at 10:35 am

@ unbelievable - the site across from the library is not owned by the City, nor does it meet the requirements for the rink. The ice rink must be built on pavement not loose soil. There is plenty of parking throughout downtown, just a minutes walk from the library. The parking lot behind BofA is open, plus street parking on Peters and Main street. There is parkging across Bernal at PMS. Get out of your cars and get some fresh air and exercise. It is all good.

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Posted by Mother
a resident of Livermore
on Nov 16, 2009 at 3:29 pm

Does anyone know if there is an age limit for the little ones to go on the ice? Would love to take my 2.5 year old for her first time.

Like this comment
Posted by trekmtb
a resident of Heritage Oaks
on Nov 16, 2009 at 3:41 pm

The Pleasanton Activities Guide has children's pricing at 1-11 years so it looks like you are in luck.

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Posted by David
a resident of Birdland
on Nov 16, 2009 at 11:33 pm

I would hardly call the Planning Committee "rubber stamping". Maybe you just haven't been paying attention lately. One vote hardly a rubber stamp makes...

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Posted by library lover
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Nov 17, 2009 at 10:12 pm get out of our parking lot.
Tonight my son and I nearly got run over walking from the back of the lot because of the poor lighting and how far down we had to park. I saw the handicapped parking all blocked off and a van with no handicapped plate or sign, parked horizontally across several spaces. This is highly unacceptable. Those spots should not be blocked.
There are just too many things wrong about this to ever make it right.

Like this comment
Posted by M
a resident of Vintage Hills Elementary School
on Nov 19, 2009 at 9:06 pm

right, library lover. and i was almost eaten by a shark at the ribbon cutting tonight.

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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