Today PLANifax and Haligonia.ca are releasing a video online sharing the excitement that is building around the idea of creating an NHL size rink in the centre of the Emera oval. Ryan O’Quinn, organizer and community champion of the project is thrilled the community is paying attention. “People really love this idea. A place where anyone of any skill set can learn how to play the game, that’s accessible with helmets and skates already on site for rental, in the centre of the commons which immediately serves 55,000 city residents.’ The Facebook group ‘Hockey on the Halifax Oval’ is growing with nearly 2,000 supporters since it began less than a month ago.
If this were to happen, Halifax would not be alone. Roseville Minnesota has a hockey rink in the centre of the oval that is accessed with the help of crossing guards to ensure the safe passage of the players and the University of Calgary has two hockey rinks in the centre of the oval, accessed by a tunnel as to not disrupt skaters on the oval.
While the Emera oval is only frozen from December to March, a rink in the centre of the oval could be used for Lacrosse, ball hockey and even Roller Derby in the spring, summer and fall.
Currently the city of Halifax is undergoing a community consultation process to develop a Master Plan for the Commons, one which will guide the future of the historic site. “This is the perfect opportunity to build on the success of the oval, utilize the built infrastructure and maximize the space in the centre of the oval. A rink in the centre of the oval would truly complete the ovals success.” says O’Quinn.
Ex-Halifax Moosehead and Stanley Cup Champion, Cole Harbor native Joe DiPenta loves the idea. “I think it would be a fantastic idea to have a rink in the centre of the oval. Think about all of the kids and hockey players we could attract to this game because it’s in the middle of our city who maybe don’t exposed to the game, I think we need to do this.”
Canada’s identity is rooted in images and visions of outdoor grassroots hockey being played on frozen lakes and ponds, but with warming winters and unpredictable climate, outdoor ice in Canada, particularly in Halifax is increasingly harder to maintain. From +13 degree Celsius on January 8th to -5 a week later, a refrigerated ice surface for hockey, like the oval, can help keep outdoor grassroots hockey alive in Halifax during the wild weather swings of a maritime winter.
To view the video visit ‘Planifax’ or ‘Haligonia.ca’ on Facebook or Youtube, or the ‘Hockey on the Oval’ group page on Facebook.
Source: Media Release