The City of Saskatoon will spend another $3-million towards building the University of Saskatchewan’s new ice facility.
After a debate and discussion in council chambers that lasted nearly 3 and a half hours, Saskatoon City Council voted 6-5 in favour of providing the funds to the Home Ice Campaign for the twin-pad ice facility, which also includes a gymnasium.
Last year, the city committed $1-million to construction of the rinks.
The proposed facility would include 1,500 hours of ice time for Saskatoon minor hockey teams.
Any remaining time would be used for public activities, including other activities like ringette and short track speed skating.
The Home Ice Campaign also believes the facility would attract hockey tournaments to Saskatoon.
Dave King, who played for the Huskies in the 1960’s and coached for the team in the 80’s, says a replacement building for the 87-year old Rutherford Rink has been long overdue.
King says a university hockey team only plays from October to the beginning of March, leaving the rest of the time for community usage.
The commitment leaves the Home Ice Campaign just over $1.5 million short of their goal.
Chair of the campaign’s Saskatoon committee Tim Hodgson is hoping for an October 2018 opening date, which requires a board approval and the beginning of construction in the next couple of months.
He believes the city’s commitment will provide the push they need to get approval to start construction.
City administration will now determine where the $3 million will come from and the number of years the money will be spent over.