The finishing touches are being put on Red Deer’s newest arena.
The Servus Arena in downtown Red Deer, which features and NHL-sized rink and 1,360 seats, will officially open its doors to the public on January 13.
Mayor Tara Veer said the replacement arena looks fantastic. Last year the city demolished the old Red Deer Arena after 64 years.
“Today marks the beginning of our new era of history,” Veer said Tuesday at a press conference.
The city also announced at the conference, residents can skate for free at the arena on the first Thursday of every month throughout the winter season starting on February 1. The skates go from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
The arena will be used for men’s and women’s hockey in the 2019 Canada Winter Games and next summer’s Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup, which will be co-hosted by Red Deer and Edmonton.
Servus Arena is the home of Red Deer athletes, said Veer.
“The arena is positioned for the next generation of skaters, ringette players and hockey players,” she said.
There still is a bit of work to do on the $21.6-million project before the public can get its first glimpse inside, Veer added.
Veer said the city wanted to incorporate as many heritage elements from the old arena as possible.
“We knew the heritage of the former Red Deer Arena was very important to Red Deerians,” she said.
The old Red Deer Arena sign is hanging on the wall in the front lobby, the railings are refurbished from the old rink and the clock faces are from the old rink.
The sponsorship agreement for the arena has Servus Credit Union putting $1 million into the arena over 15 years.
Garth Warner, Servus Credit Union president and CEO, said he is excited and honoured to be a part of the project.
“Being associated with a success like this and the great City of Red Deer is a huge honour and privilege for us,” said Warner.
Warner said it’s important to give back to Red Deer because there are plenty of clients and employees in the city.
“Investing in the community is part of our DNA,” he said.
The grand opening of Servus Arena is Jan. 13 from noon to 3 p.m.
More information on the arena can be found at www.reddeer.ca/servusarena.