He wonders why Gold Arena doesn’t get ice sooner; Stassen says the turf gets heavy use from UMC, others

    A familiar issue that seems to surface to various degrees around this time every year has been raised again: Young hockey players are practicing too late into the night on school nights at Crookston Sports Center.

    Ward 1 Crookston City Council Member Jake Fee, saying complaints have been brought to his attention, brought it up this week, asking why the CSC’s Gold Arena, home to artificial turf much of the year, is so late to get ice. Parks & Recreation Director Scott Riopelle told Fee that the Gold Arena isn’t getting ice this year any later than last year, and he reminded everyone that for every week that a rink at the CSC doesn’t have ice, the City saves around $5,000.

    City Administrator Shannon Stassen also noted that the University of Minnesota Crookston is also a significant user of the CSC and pays a significant amount of money each year to do so.

    “We need to remember that UMC is a partner on this, too, and they need that turf,” Stassen said.

    Stassen also recalled that a couple years ago, in order to cut costs at the CSC but also potentially raise revenue through various non-ice activities, the importance of the turf was stressed, which meant that the City could save money by not pouring an ice sheet in the Gold Arena until the youth hockey and skating schedule was fully underway. In conjunction with that, as soon as the youth hockey season starts to wind down a bit in mid- to late winter, the Gold Arena is the first rink to have its sheet melted so the turf can return.

    Fee said he understood that, but added that he’d like to see the subject of ice time in the three rinks discussed again, perhaps in the spring after the hockey and skating season concludes.

    “I don’t think little kids should be practicing late into the night on school nights,” Fee said.