City of Steamboat Springs moving forward with ice arena expansion | SteamboatToday.com

City of Steamboat Springs moving forward with ice arena expansion

The Steamboat Wranglers junior hockey team skates at Howelsen Ice Arena in Steamboat Springs.

STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The city of Steamboat Springs has taken another big step toward adding a second sheet of ice at Howelsen Ice Arena that will double as a covered sports practice field when winter ends.

The City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to approve an agreement with a private donor who has pledged to donate $1 million toward the facility.

In December, the city received a $375,000 check from Michael and Sara Craig-Sheckman for the multi-purpose sports facility.

If the building permit for the project is issued this year, the city will receive the remainder of the donation.

"Obviously we're very, very pleased," Steamboat Springs Youth Hockey development director Kerry Shea said Wednesday.

Shea praised the city's willingness to engage in a public-private partnership and make the project a reality.

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Proponents of the new facility, which will be named the Craig-Scheckman Youth Sports Arena, are hoping to raise enough funds to start construction this year.

The city is spending $900,000 of its lodging tax revenue, which must be spent on a project to promote tourism, to support the ice arena project.

In December, Assistant to the City Manager Winnie DelliQuadri said the city thinks it is very likely private fundraisers can deliver an additional $350,000 to the city, and the city is also in a good position to get a $350,000 grant from Great Outdoors Colorado to cover the remaining project costs.

The price tag for the project is estimated to be $2.55 million.

The City Council approved the agreement with the Craig-Scheckmans with very little discussion Tuesday night.

Adding a second sheet of ice is expected to bring more youth hockey tournaments to Steamboat as well as add training time for figure skaters.

Public skate sessions and bumper car on ice sessions will also increase.

In the spring, summer and fall, the facility can be used as a practice field for soccer, lacrosse and baseball players.

To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210, email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @ScottFranz10.