Hockey Arena Manager Worries About Governor’s Pause on Sports
SAUK RAPIDS -- Some hockey arenas like Sports Arena East in Sauk Rapids are wondering what will come of their operations now that Governor Tim Walz has paused sports for at least four weeks.
Facilities Manager Mike Kemp says Sports Arena East is a nonprofit organization that relies solely on user fees to pay their bills. And, he says those utility bills are costly...
You know this is a big building and quite frankly, during the season it's nothing to have a $10,000/month electrical bill alone. Then you start adding in gas for heating and that kind of stuff and with nothing coming in it's not like we have some sort of foundation or anything behind us where we can say, we've got it, don't worry about it.
Kemp says they already lost about a month of revenue last spring and all of their summer revenue. He says if they don't get some government help or get back to renting out the ice before the end of the year, he doesn't know what will happen...
It would be nice for the governor to at least say you can do something. Even if we were at half rentals or something like that, I think that's the kind of thing that could be enough to get us through until we got back up to full steam. But, to be at zero is kind of a scary thought there.
Kemp says that can't pull the ice from the arena to save money unless they know hockey is done for the season. He says the startup costs are too great to take that chance right now. So, he says the unknowns of when or if they'll be able to resume ice-rentals is a big part of the issue.
Kemp says the hockey community and the community as a whole has been very supportive over the years, but their operating costs are not like asking for a few hundred dollars for new equipment.