City Council has decided it’s time to move on from the Dave G. Steuart Arena, with a majority of votes in favor of Administration’s recommendation to discontinue operations of the facility once the new Twin Pad Arenas become open to the public.
“It’s time we move on,” said Mayor Greg Dionne. “It’s an old building, I don’t know why in this city we want to hang on to assets that are 50 years old.”
At Monday’s Executive Committee meeting, Community Services Director Jody Boulet said the decision to recommend the closure of the Steuart Arena came about through a number of factors, including prime time ice usage and consideration of the building’s condition.
Boulet stated that a review of prime time ice demand in the Prince Albert area shows that the City’s three artificial ice arenas are at nearly maximum capacity. Administration has found evidence of 1622 hours booked in the region by Prince Albert teams and organizations, compared to 1498 hours required for a full season of prime time ice.
The remaining 124 hours of needed ice time does not justify a fifth facility in Prince Albert, as another 1374 hours would be needed to maximize a fifth artificial ice arena, according to Boulet.
“If we added a fifth artificial ice surface, what impact would that have on all of the community clubs?” asked Coun. Dennis Ogrodnick. “Would those community clubs struggle then, to maintain those artificial surfaces?”
Administration will explore alternative options for the Steuart Arena, such as finding other uses for the building, selling it, or potentially decommissioning and demolishing it.
The expected closing date of the Steuart Arena will depend on when construction of the new Twin Pads Arena is finished and where that falls within arena season, said Boulet. When the time comes, a report will be made and a recommendation will be forwarded to Council for review.
City Council will make the final decision regarding the Steuart Arena’s fate at Monday’s upcoming regular meeting.