Shannon Park arena closure leaves hockey groups scrambling
“One hockey group has close to 1,000 members, another one has 550. They all use these rinks.”
Shannon Park arena in Dartmouth is shutting down on Monday just as minor hockey season ramps up, prompting users to demand city officials step in.
Sean McKenna, a spokesman for the Dartmouth Whalers Minor Hockey Association says there was no warning.
“It's pretty tough to in two or three weeks to shuffle all this around. If we had a year to plan it that's another thing, so I'd love to see the city come forward with something,” he says.
The building is actually owned by the Canada Lands Company. The Department of National Defence says it was too costly to keep open and needs $1.5 million in immediate repairs.
Military users will move to the Shearwater arena, meaning sports groups in Dartmouth will lose ice time at both rinks.
Dartmouth councillor Darren Fisher says the move will impact hundreds.
This is catastrophic. - Dartmouth councilor Darren Fisher
“This is catastrophic,” he says. “One hockey group has close to 1,000 members, another one has 550. They all use these rinks.”
Any help the city may be able to give won’t be coming quickly. Halifax council won't meet again until Sept. 9. Even if they did vote to look into taking over the arena, the process would take time.
Dartmouth councillor Gloria McCluskey says this isn’t something to rush into.
The decision to shut down the Shannon Park Arena came 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.
Mayor Mike Savage says it’s an issue on his radar, but the city hasn't even begun the process to look at how much it would cost to take over the Shannon Park Arena
With training camps starting this week, and minor hockey in full gear in the coming weeks, groups will be fighting for ice time, unless something changes fast.