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Humboldt approves stakeholder engagement for second ice surface

Humboldt council approved city staff to start stakeholder engagement on a second ice surface for the City of Humboldt.
The City of Humboldt said the Edgar Peterson Arena alone won't be able to serve needs for ice time.

HUMBOLDT — Humboldt council approved city staff to start stakeholder engagement on a second ice surface for the City of Humboldt.

Michael Ulriksen, director of community and leisure services, presented to council on Oct. 23 the need for a second ice surface in Humboldt.

“There is no debate that the Edgar Peterson Arena alone, is unable to meet the existing demand for ice time within our community and surrounding region, let alone the growth that is expected in the coming years,” he said.

Since the construction of the Elgar Petersen Arena in the early 1980s and the removal of the Leo Parker Arena, the City of Humboldt has had a single sheet of ice. The demand for ice time has fluctuated since that time as the population has steadily increased to over 6000 residents plus a large regional area that utilizes the City’s facilities it said in Ulriksen’s report to council.

Trevor Michel, Humboldt Minor Hockey president, said they currently have 18 teams and 244 players. The current demand for ice time is at an all-time high with no indications that the increase in demand will slow down. The population growth that is anticipated as a result of the BHP mine is expected to significantly increase not only the demand from existing user groups, but demand driven from other programs and events as well.

The Memorials Committee has been actively working to secure funding towards a second ice surface for the community. The report indicated:

  • The EPA is open 12.72 hours per day for 269 days that the arena in operation.
  • Humboldt Minor Hockey (HMH) saw a 9% increase in rental hours from the 2021-22.
  • Private rentals have increased by 76 per cent from an average of 1.8 hours per day in 2019-20 to 3.2 hours per day in the 2022-23 season.
  • Minor hockey estimates that in 2023-24 roughly 30 hours per week of additional ice time
  • Minor hockey has turned down AA Female U13, U15 teams and other tournaments

The main determining factors that indicated the need of another ice surface were:

  1. Access to Public Skating
  2. Inability to support Female Hockey:
  3. New Sports Initiatives
  4. Loss of Event Tourism

The City of Humboldt will now move forward on the development of a second ice surface to serve the needs of Humboldt’s growing community, the report said. The demand for ice time already exceeds the supply available. The City plans to further engage stakeholders to help establish a more in-depth understanding of the demand and provide and develop a clear picture of the operational expectations of a second ice surface.