Yesterday was the last time (at least for the remainder of this year) that the arena will be open on Sundays. This decision was made by Administration after passing it by Council as a cost savings measure. Due to unanticipated expenditures that we have incurred this year, Administration is looking to reduce costs where possible to limit the impact on our operating budget.
Our 2019 Sunday schedule had one paid ice rental and 2 public rentals scheduled each week. We were able to move the paid rental to another time that worked for the group and we are pleased to offer public skating now on Saturday’s from 5:30pm-6:30pm. Saturday is now completely booked and we will not have to staff the arena’s on Sundays.
The arena will be open on Sunday’s for larger bookings. Currently, there are 3 tournaments scheduled that require Sunday ice and we will be open for these events. We hope to be able to provide Sunday ice again once budget and demand allow in the future. We appreciate those who have offered to volunteer to staff the arena on Sundays, but we unfortunately cannot accept due to our insurance and potential liability if anything were to go wrong.
To be clear, this is not because of Raymond Minor Hockey not booking enough ice time as has been indicated by some in the community.
Another underlying factor in this decision is that since the City of Lethbridge opened up their new 2 ice sheets within the ATB Centre and did not close down the existing arena like they had planned, the demand for ice has diminished significantly over the last 2 years. Magrath and Warner are experiencing similar challenges filling their ice time.
We appreciate everyone’s interest in this issue and hope that while you may not like the decision, you can at least understand why it was made. If you have any further questions, please contact the Town office at your convenience at 403-752-3322.