DND closing Shannon Park Arena after city picks Halifax Forum
Shearwater arena also cutting public hours to accommodate military needs
The Department of National Defence says it had no choice but to shut down the Shannon Park Arena once Halifax decided not to go ahead with a four-rink complex on DND land in the city.
The decision to shut down the Shannon Park Arena comes just over a month after city council decided to go with a three-pad rink proposal at the Halifax Forum site instead of building four new arenas on military land at Windsor Park.
Captain Angus Topshee, base commander for CFB Halifax, says they can’t manage the arena going forward.
Given the cost and the age of the facility at Shannon Park, we simply can't keep it open.- Captain Angus Topshee
"There is no new arena for us on the horizon," he says. "We're going to have to reduce to one arena and given the cost and the age of the facility at Shannon Park, we simply can't keep it open any longer."
If the city isn't able to take over the facility, Dartmouth ice users will be shut out of two rinks.
Topshee says the closure will mean moving military users to the Shearwater arena. As a result, other hockey and figure skating groups will lose hours at both facilities.
Sean McKenna, a spokesman for the Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association, wants the city to step in and run the rink for at least a year.
Captain Topshee says the arena is actually owned by Canada Lands Company, meaning the city will have to negotiate with that agency in order to run Shannon Park. He warns the rink needs $1.5 million in immediate repairs.
The city has not yet said what it intends to do with the site.