Should we build a new hockey ice rink in Sioux Falls? Sure, with private money.

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Of course the Gargoyle Leader can’t stop beating a dead horse, the new youth ice hockey rink proposal in Sioux Falls;

A group of local sports enthusiasts says Sioux Falls needs a new indoor ice rink, and their goal is to get the facility built – perhaps as early as fall 2012.

You and I know that the only people pushing for this ice rink are parents of kids that play hockey and the AL.

Because more than 450 youngsters are included in the hockey association, the current ice space is not enough, said Jayson Drake, president of the youth hockey group.

Voters rejected an ice rink already. And in the online poll today they are rejecting it again by over 56%. And in a recent poll asking if voters would support a retail tax increase to build a new events center, almost 60% said no. The AL and elitists in our community just don’t get it, the middle class and working poor are sick of paying for your playgrounds. If you want a hockey rink, pool your money and get investors and corporate donations and build the damn thing already.

“We are realistic,” he said. “We’ll have a fundraising challenge. Our expectations probably wouldn’t be to build a fully decked-out facility by Day 1. We need to decide how to get one rink first.”

So far, no donations have been sought or raised because the group still is working on its nonprofit status.

You have talking about this for over 5 years, look at all the money you could have raised in that time period. Taxpayers are sick of subsidizing this stuff. I fully support a new rink, but it should be built with private money and be privately managed.

UPDATED: 10:30 PM •  I see the hockey parents went online and swayed the poll so they would win, it is at 61%

13 comments ↓

#1 redhatterb on 11.01.09 at 6:37 pm

Amen! It is time for the parents whose kids will be using these facilities that they all seem to think they need, to start paying for the facilities themselves, instead of expecting people who don’t have anybody to use the facility to pay for it.

#2 l3wis on 11.01.09 at 7:16 pm

It benefits them to, because they will have control of the facility and they can do whatever they want to with it, including keeping any money they make.

#3 Sy on 11.02.09 at 9:24 am

They have a valid point, and again the big dog rec center that you so gleefully shot down would’ve handled this, without breaking the bank in any way.

Just because a parent has a kid who swims competitively or plays hockey doesn’t mean they are “elitist” or whatever other term you want to apply. I know it feels sooo good to stick it to the man, but more often than not the “man” is just an average parent. You act like they’re asking for polo grounds.

These people are also taxpayers, and over the years they’ve seen the City build skate parks, improve the bike trails, build splash parks, add ball diamonds, etc. To request that the City consider adding year round capacities for actual swimming, diving, hockey, soccer are not in any way out of bounds, especially when you cross reference growth trends in these sports with our own population growth trends.

Remember that many of these sports are the kind a kid can get a scholarship to play in college, or least play/practive enough to keep healthy. Plus, unlike skateboarding or biking, these sports will host regional tournaments if the facilities are there to host them.

In other words, it’s another one of those “quality of life” bugaboos that we all think are worthwhile until it comes time to actually do it.

#4 Costner on 11.02.09 at 10:25 am

Sy has an interesting point about how we build ball diamonds and football complexes and new soccer fields but leave Hockey players out in the cold (pun intended).

I struggle with this, because when it comes to “quality of life” projects I prefer our tax dollars go to those which impact the greatest number of people. I can’t say whether Hockey is more or less popular than other sports, but maybe it should at least be given serious consideration.

On the other hand, about a decade ago Mitchell really wanted a new indoor Hockey facility, so they formed a group – collected the money to build it, and they got it done. I don’t know why it has to be so hard for Sioux Falls to put together some funding drives when we have the population that should be able to fund these types of projects.

Maybe it all boils down to the wrong types of people trying to push these projects.

#5 Ghost of Dude on 11.02.09 at 10:38 am

Maybe it all boils down to the wrong types of people trying to push these projects.

Yeah. Small-thinking morons. The guy at the fake town-hall meeting the other night mentioned how many kids in SF are involved in hockey, I think he said 80 or so. That’s 80 households, give or take a few, who would have a vested interest in raising money for a new facility. All of them have family and friends, and most of them probably know of a business that would help sponsor a facility for a little marketing/PR.

#6 Costner on 11.02.09 at 12:00 pm

It can’t possibly be only 80 kids because if that were true they have zero need for a new facility. The AL article cites the number as being 450 although even that seems like a fairly small number.

I mean city wide how many kids play soccer… I’d bet it is at least a few thousand. In a town of 150,000+, it is hard to justify a project which will only benefit 0.3% of the population at best.

#7 Ghost of Dude on 11.02.09 at 12:33 pm

If it’s 450, there’s all the more people to help raise funds.

#8 Sy on 11.02.09 at 12:50 pm

One thing to keep in mind, it shouldn’t be viewed as just for the X number of families playing whatever sport today. Look at the growth trends and build for that, we have a horrible history in doing so and we need to reverse that.

Take soccer, I played in grade/middle school. When got to 10th grade there was no organized soccer at that point. That was 25 years ago. Look at today and how we have been able to grow the sport on all levels locally, but also being able to host a regional tourney that brings what $5 million in to our economy in one week? Back then we had like one big state softball tourney a year, now we have what? 4 or 5? Again, look at the dollars that brings in and how they are spread around.

I think too many people kneejerk with the mindset that some rich guys should build a facility, when in fact those people won’t see any return from the secondary impact of a vibrant sport like hockey or soccer.

#9 Costner on 11.02.09 at 2:46 pm

I hate to even suggest this, but if we want to build for the future then we need a study (yes I said it) so we know what the expected growth of the sport will be over the next 10, 20, and 30 years.

If they are smart enough, they can design a facility which is capable of being enlarged down the road if the need exists, but they should build it for what we need 15 or 20 years from now intead of what we need now.

I’m not suggesting this project should be funded by 100% private donations, but if the “group of local sports enthusiasts” thinks we need the project, then they should get out there are start raising funds. Then if the city wants to offer a dollar for dollar fund match, they would be ready to go.

It would make more sense to build a facility like that near the existing Arena more than it would to build the EC there if for no other reason than you generally don’t have hockey tournaments at the same time the Canaries are playing a home game.

#10 l3wis on 11.02.09 at 3:15 pm

It would be in their best interest to build it on their own. They could build an endowment and actually control and make money from the facility. Yankton Trail Park is a prime example of having the city run something isn’t always the best idea. They charge the soccer association to play there, and they don’t allow them to practice there. If the city builds the ice rink they will run it like Yankton trail. Hockey parents would actually save money if they build it themselves and they will get more use out of it.

Secondly, from talking to parents and insiders with the hockey association I get a 50/50 view of the situation. Half of them want a city handout and the other half want to run the facility themselves. I think they need to resolve some stuff internally before they start asking us to pony up. I watched the Jr. Football fiasco unfold before my eyes, and I am a little hesitant to allow the same thing to happen with the hockey rink. In other words, the SFHA needs to get their shit together before they start putting a plan together. The city and Sanford ponied up money for the Jr Football fields without the Jr. Football association having raised one penny towards what they promised to pay for. I know that these are different associations, but as the saying goes, once bitten, twice shy.

#11 DonnM38 on 03.12.10 at 1:19 pm

Some of the comments on here are completely narrow minded. If you think having a kid play hockey is an elitist mentality then you need to get out more. My 7 yr old has played for the past two years and most of the parents involved are just working schmoes like me just trying to give their kids an opportunity to play a truly rewarding sport.

I do agree their should be a big effort put forth by the SFYHA to raise funds to build the facility but it also shouldn’t be their sole responsibility. The ice center would benefit the entire city of Sioux Falls by bringing in revenue.

All you have to do is open up the last 8-10 pages of Lets Play Hockey to see how much of an economic impact could be made by hosting several weekend hockey tournaments.

#12 Name on 03.23.10 at 9:10 am

This is stupid… all we need is a decent icerink and so far we only have 1/2 of one. The expo ice was taken down because we didn’t have enough money to fix the huge hole in the ice. And the SFIRC is only .5 of an ice rink because we only get 45 min of icetime…we have bantam boys practicing at 11 at night! It’s rediculous!! Not only do we just want to play hockey, be we also want to host tournaments. The girls team had to take their Varsity tournament to Sioux Center Iowa because we didn’t have any ice! If you guys are so narrow-minded to think that we can take what we have…then you are people who hate little kids.

#13 Yakman on 01.01.12 at 5:44 pm

Sioux Falls is behind the times when it comes to hockey. Although only 450 players are mentioned, think of the growth potential! With a modern and organized facility, this sport will blossom. Kids, teens and adult hockey leagues will develop as well as figure skating competitions. Let’s host something! Right now, we are missing out on a huge opportunity. There is growth in hockey and it can make some money. I say build it and give this sport the attention it deserves.

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