A $3-million renovation of the Centrium is nearly done.
The city and Westerner Park said Tuesday the project to replace 30-year-old seating, update dressing rooms, install a new score clock and add concourse railings is on track.
The upgrades were planned to be done in time for the world junior hockey championship, which was to take place in Red Deer and Edmonton from Dec. 26 to Jan. 5, 2021.
Unfortunately for Red Deer hockey fans, the International Ice Hockey Federation announced in September all games will be played in Edmonton because of COVID-19 health restrictions.
Red Deer will get another chance to host in 2021, when the tournament will be shared with Edmonton.
Nearly 50 of the country’s best under-20 junior players are attending a training camp that began Monday and runs until Dec. 13.
The camp will take place in a cohort bubble and will be closed to the public and the media.
“Not being able to host world juniors this year was a significant disappointment for many Red Deerians who were anticipating welcoming the international hockey community back to our city,” said Mayor Tara Veer in a statement Tuesday.
“I know Red Deer will be ready to welcome the world to our community in 2021-22, and will actively continue our preparations for this incredible opportunity for our city.”
“The renovations and upgrades will enhance guest experience at Westerner Park and ensure the comfort and safety for everyone that attends events in the Centrium,” said Westerner Park CEO Mike Olesen.
“The upgrades will also create more interest from national and international events to consider Red Deer and Westerner Park for upcoming events.”
Last month, the Western Hockey League announced the season for the Red Deer Rebels and the other league teams is set to begin Jan. 8.
A virtual tour of the Centrium can be found on YouTube at Centrium Renovation Update.