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If you build it, they will come…

By 19 August 2014 20

ice-hockey-stock

ACT Sports Minister Shane Rattenbury refuses to recognize his Field of Dreams moment even though it’s staring him in the face.

He’s missing a real opportunity by not getting behind the push to build a new ice rink which would provide more time and opportunity for Canberrans who follow – or would like to if facilities would allow – ice sports.

According to ABC Online the ACT Government is reluctant to push ahead with a second ice skating location.

They report that Mr Rattenbury has rejected a proposal for a new ice rink to be built in Canberra’s south, but that the ACT Government is moving ahead with plans to build a swimming pool next to Stromlo Forest Park to service the new suburbs of Molonglo in Canberra’s west.

The CBR Brave ice hockey team wants a new ice rink to be co-located with the pool to increase access to skating time. But the Sports Minister says a feasibility study has ruled that out.

The Phoenix like resurgence of CBR Brave from the ashes of the old Canberra Knights is a remarkable result and the organisation, effort and just plain heart that’s gone into the extremely impressive performances at every level which now sees Canberra with a real chance in the AIHL finals for the first time in sixteen years is nothing short of amazing.

What is almost as amazing, but sadly dispiriting in sharp contrast to CBR Brave’s inspirational performance, is the short-sightedness of the Assembly in stubbornly overlooking the possibility to make Canberra a recognized focal point for the sport of ice hockey.

My eleven year old and I watched the Ice Dogs smash the Sydney Bears 8 – 0 last weekend at the Sydney Ice Centre at Baulkham Hills.

In case you haven’t seen it, let me tell you ice hockey is fast and exciting. I’ve also noted firsthand how courteous the players are and how they willingly interact with fans.

My son, with no prompting from me, first snagged an autograph from a player he admires and then bought himself a puck fresh from the ice and had that signed by another player. On both occasions players were happy to give him their time and the lady at the concession stand apparently gave him the puck half price. All that coupled with a very convincing win by his team meant we had a great night.

Minister Rattenbury says “They’re getting good crowds in there for the ice hockey league and some of the biggest in the national league so that’s a very positive thing”. Well, yes it is. But it could all be bigger if the Assembly would show some vision.

In the US and Canada attendances at Ice Hockey games average 17,721 compared to 17,274 for Basketball games. Basketball, with more games, generates bigger numbers country wide but the figures surely indicate the relative popularity and drawing power of the two sports in the areas where venues exist.

Ice hockey could really grow in Australia and Canberra could be at the leading edge of that growth if the facilities were to be made available.

So Mr. Rattenbury, why not build on this vibrant resource you have in the ACT?

CBR Brave – with what they’ve already achieved – has demonstrated in no uncertain fashion organisational skills, marketing acumen and results on the ice which could really put Canberra on the map with this exciting sport.

We’re talking about something which could be commercially viable as well providing the kind of entertainment people really enjoy.

I’m a firm believer in that great business combination: fun and profit. A new ice rink to enable CBR Brave to reach greater heights could provide both.

Do it right and build on the core of skill, enthusiasm and talent which already exists and you could leave a lasting monument for future generations of Canberrans.

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20 Responses to
If you build it, they will come…
davo101 9:14 am
19 Aug 14
#1

I had to check my calendar to see if today was the 1st April.

Ezy 9:26 am
19 Aug 14
#2

This isn’t just about the national team wanting a new rink – this goes to the local teams as well. There are over 20 ice hockey teams in Canberra all wanting to play and train on the one surface – imagine if there were 20 Rugby League teams, all wanting to play on the one oval, but then having to share that with public access, rugby union, cricket, AFL and public access times.

golden_youth 9:32 am
19 Aug 14
#3

Totally agree with this. There is more than enough numbers across local hockey, figure skating, broomball etc to warrant a second rink. With the success of the CBR Brave this year, the sport is only going to grow!

chewy14 9:42 am
19 Aug 14
#4

Cost benefit analysis?

If this is viable then surely the current ice rink in Phillip is absolutely rolling in cash from the demand. Are they?

magiccar9 9:49 am
19 Aug 14
#5

Who pays for this? If there is such a great demand, surely private industry could look seriously at the option to build a rink. Why does it have to come down to the Government or nothing?

dungfungus 10:26 am
19 Aug 14
#6

How can a high profile climate alarmist like Rattenbury support an ice rink?
Everyone knows that global ice is melting so he is not about to look foolish by spending our money on something that will melt.
The melting ice may even raise the level of LBG.

watto23 11:23 am
19 Aug 14
#7

I’m sick of people who just oppose the government building infrastructure as if they never use any government infrastructure themselves.

I think a new ice rink would be a good idea, maybe link it witth the new civic pool or new football stadium. But I think it should be a multipurpose facility as well. Maybe build it to host other indoor events like basketball as well.

Yes I’m happy to pay more rates if the government builds more infrastructure with the money it gets. I’d love to know what people who oppose infrastructure building actually do. I could equally argue that there is no need to build more roads in Canberra. Just in case you don’t know my viewpoint on the tram. I oppose the current thinking of a slow light rail service to raplce buses. That is a waste, but I at least can argue why with facts, instead of just bleating rubbish like many people do.

Solidarity 11:39 am
19 Aug 14
#8

We already have an ice rink.

What we don’t have is a drag strip.

Ezy 11:49 am
19 Aug 14
#9

… and to add to my argument towards a new rink. Say that the single oval that you all have to share with other teams was rutted out, terrible grass, the mower broke down often leaving the surface grown over, seating was on rotting wood, toilets were filthy and no way to wash your hands, walking surface was uneven, people who did come and watch games were in danger from flying footballs (which are made of solid rubber) and left bleeding because of lack of proper fencing. Should I go on?

Ezy 11:51 am
19 Aug 14
#10

But hey – that $750,000 beach volleyball facility is an awesome idea.

DonMegatron 11:52 am
19 Aug 14
#11

chewy14 said :

Cost benefit analysis?

If this is viable then surely the current ice rink in Phillip is absolutely rolling in cash from the demand. Are they?

Totally agree here – it doesn’t look to me like they’re throwing money around. Also, are the Brave sustainable long term, after the honeymoon period?

Madam Cholet 1:01 pm
19 Aug 14
#12

My husband took my 6 year old to watch a game not so long ago and he said because they got there later there was really no choice of seats and they had to get what they could – and may have been standing from memory. If this happens every time then there’s probably a case for having a larger facility. I too did not understand why Mr Shane ‘look at me drop the puck on the ice don’t I look great’ Rattenbury has kyboshed this one. Seems more reasonable than a lot of the things he actually backs.

Having taken our son to do ice skating I can definitely say that the facility is run down and could be a whole lot better, making it a more enjoyable place, which would attract more people. The fact that the rink in Woden is the only one means it gets the custom. They charge like wounded bulls to just let you in to watch let alone skate. And none of that money goes to the upkeep from the looks of it.

Casiola 1:25 pm
19 Aug 14
#13

Ezy said :

… and to add to my argument towards a new rink. Say that the single oval that you all have to share with other teams was rutted out, terrible grass, the mower broke down often leaving the surface grown over, seating was on rotting wood, toilets were filthy and no way to wash your hands, walking surface was uneven, people who did come and watch games were in danger from flying footballs (which are made of solid rubber) and left bleeding because of lack of proper fencing. Should I go on?

It’s still better than Oakleigh!

Me2 3:01 pm
19 Aug 14
#14

Ezy said :

But hey – that $750,000 beach volleyball facility is an awesome idea.

Yep, have a dig at a fellow minority sport, that’s a great way to win friends for your cause. Your comments in #9 are all too familiar to the volleyballers who have been playing at Civic pool for years. Namely weeds and trees (yes trees) growing on the courts, a playing surface so poorly maintained that barely 5cm under the surface it’s compacted so hard that people have actually thought there’s concrete underneath, nets/poles falling down, equipment sheds being broken into countless times, needing shoes to walk on the grassed area around the courts to avoid getting a thousand bindiis in your feet…and I could go on.
I last visited the Phillip ice skating centre around 2006 (I believe a mate and I challenged each other to a race after watching the Torino Winter Olympics) and I remember thinking then how run down the place was. By the sounds of it things have only got worse since then, which makes me think you’re justified in demanding better. But slinging mud at a sport in a similar position to yours seems a silly way to go about it

dungfungus 4:42 pm
19 Aug 14
#15

Ezy said :

But hey – that $750,000 beach volleyball facility is an awesome idea.

Beach volleyball is a sport?????

switch 5:25 pm
19 Aug 14
#16

dungfungus said :

Ezy said :

But hey – that $750,000 beach volleyball facility is an awesome idea.

Beach volleyball is a sport?????

Worse than that, it’s an Olympic sport. And you thought it was just babes bouncing around on the sand.

dungfungus 5:49 pm
19 Aug 14
#17

switch said :

dungfungus said :

Ezy said :

But hey – that $750,000 beach volleyball facility is an awesome idea.

Beach volleyball is a sport?????

Worse than that, it’s an Olympic sport. And you thought it was just babes bouncing around on the sand.

Does anyone really take the Olympic Games seriously these days? They also have that thing called “sink”-chronised swimming masquerading as a sport as well.
You meant to say “boobs bouncing around” didn’t you?

farnarkler 7:05 pm
19 Aug 14
#18

A couple of things; firstly Rattenbury will be gone sooner or later. He can’t be an MLA forever. Secondly, if the planners had brains they would do like the Americans do and make the venue multipurpose ie put a cover over the ice and use it for basketball or other sports. Some of the posters here are so right too about not having enough ice to go round. We need a big organisation to build another rink, much like the Catholic Club in Liverpool of Hillsong at Baulkham hills.

Bohmers 9:55 pm
19 Aug 14
#19

Canberra has some of the best Broomballers in the country and has done since the early 1980′s
(Google Rockets Broomball for a high adrenaline explanation) and has a long and solid history in Canberra’s Ice Sports world along side Ice Hockey & our great home grown figure skaters!
A new rink will benefit not just the Brave but two other ice sports who can’t wait to enjoy the type of facilities our counterparts in the other states enjoy! But let’s not forget the bus loads of kids who come to visit Canberra & go ice skating each and every weeknight!
Build it & THEY WILL COME!

dungfungus 11:17 am
20 Aug 14
#20

Bohmers said :

Canberra has some of the best Broomballers in the country and has done since the early 1980′s
(Google Rockets Broomball for a high adrenaline explanation) and has a long and solid history in Canberra’s Ice Sports world along side Ice Hockey & our great home grown figure skaters!
A new rink will benefit not just the Brave but two other ice sports who can’t wait to enjoy the type of facilities our counterparts in the other states enjoy! But let’s not forget the bus loads of kids who come to visit Canberra & go ice skating each and every weeknight!
Build it & THEY WILL COME!

“Build it & THEY WILL COME!”
Like they did when the Carnell government built the futsal slab?

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