Some local sports groups will be left scrambling because of the unexpected two-week shutdown of the Kinex Arena. There is a problem with its ice maker. (Black Press file photo)

Some local sports groups will be left scrambling because of the unexpected two-week shutdown of the Kinex Arena. There is a problem with its ice maker. (Black Press file photo)

Two-week shutdown of Red Deer’s Kinex Arena could leave sports groups in the cold

The ice maker at the aging Kinex Arena has given up the ghost a few months ahead of schedule.

The old indoor ice rink behind the Servus Arena was due to be permanently shuttered at the end of this winter since a brand new ice surface is opening in the New Year at the Dawe Recreation Centre.

However, it’s now necessary to temporarily shut down the Kinex between Monday, Nov. 28 and Saturday, Dec. 10, due to an “unanticipated issue” with the ice-making equipment.

Unfortunately, this will impact all ice user groups, states a release from the City of Red Deer.

During the Kinex’s closure, City crews will try to restore function to the ice making equipment on-site in hopes of continuing operation of this rink to the end of the 2022/2023 indoor ice season.

“We recognize the closure of one of our ice surfaces is not ideal for our regular user groups, or for the public,” says Barb McKee, Recreation Superintendent. “We are working to maximize ice use at our existing arenas and are hopeful this disruption is short lived.”

She added, “The Kinex Arena is at the end of its useful life and this setback is evidence of that. We’re doing everything possible to keep the facility available for the community.”

Outdoor rinks are not yet open for public use. But Parks crews will be working to open some of them earlier than anticipated, allowing for drop-in use and potential community bookings, said McKee.

Parks crews aim to open one of the boarded outdoor rinks in the Bower neighbourhood as early as Monday for sport group bookings. (Sport groups can contact facilitybookings@reddeer.ca to learn more about this opportunity.)

More information about available outdoor rinks and their status can be found at www.reddeer.ca/outdoorskating.

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