Why Charlottetown's ringette president is against the new arena proposal

The president of Charlottetown Ringette is opposed to a proposal for new arenas in the city because he believes there will be any more ice availability and there are concerns there could be caps on registrations for some sports.

Proposal could mean not enough rink time for kids, says Mike James

The president of the Charlottetown Ringette Association says ringette teams already have to book ice time outside the city. (CBC)

The president of the Charlottetown Ringette Association is opposed to a proposal for new arenas in the city because he believes it will not lead to more ice availability and there are concerns there could be caps on registrations for some sports.

The City of Charlottetown task force that made the recommendations for, among other things, a new multi-use sports centre, said the proposal addresses the need to attract more events as well as deal with aging facilities and maximize ice use. It calls for tearing down two rinks and constructing two new ones.

But that means no new ice time for an already stretched system, said Mike James, president of Charlottetown Ringette.

​"Our main concern with the proposal right now is that it's status quo," he told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin.

"What we would be looking forward to would be having five and one events centre, that would handle our needs and our needs right now are that we are renting 12 hours [ice time] outside the city and it's still not enough ice for our sport alone."

Blackout periods

James believes there will be in fact fewer community ice hours available because of more blackout periods with events and other uses of the rinks. The various organizations that use the rinks might start turning away kids due to restrictions on available ice time, he added.

"This is the first step, I'm sure we'll try to have talks with councillors and MLAs," James said. "We are a growing community in Charlottetown, and some of the sports kids have to come from other areas outside to play whatever it may be, whether it's figure skating or ringette, so this is the first step in trying to negotiate a better deal for everyone."

With files from CBC News: Compass