Ice Feasibility Study Results Released
ROCKFORD, IL – Over the years, the Rockford Park District has seen growth in the number of youth and adults participating in skating and hockey programs. Riverview Ice House is a 43 year old facility and in need of significant repairs along with a new refrigeration system that has exceeded its lifecycle. With the aging infrastructure needs coupled with the increased demand for ice sports the District wanted to explore the options to add another sheet of ice.
In October, the District, along with various community partners, began a study to determine if it is feasible to add an additional sheet of ice. The feasibility study was made possible thanks to funding provided by the City of Rockford, Rockford Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, Rockford Park District, and a generous donation from Pete and Heather Provenzano. HVS Convention, Sports & Entertainment Facilities Consulting, Inc. was hired to conduct the ice feasibility study. Analysis of current mechanical and ice systems was performed by Stevens Engineers, Inc.
The ice feasibility study reviewed the following:
- Evaluate current facility usage and physical conditions
- Analyze current program and operational components
- Complete a review of revenues and expenses
- Complete a building mechanical and ice system analysis
- Include an analysis of market conditions, demand, needs, and amenities
- Economic pro formas of operating expenses and revenue projections
Preliminary results of the feasibility study indicated there may not be enough program growth to sustain an additional sheet of ice without additional tax dollar support to operate annually.
The committee approved HVS going forward in the study to examine a couple of scenarios for our consideration. Results from the feasibility study included two options.
- Option 1 would include renovations to Riverview Ice House and adding an outdoor pavilion that would transform into an ice rink during the winter months. Option 1 would cost between $9 million and $13 million. NOTE: HVS introduced this option based on their engagement sessions in Rockford with the users, clubs, and area businesses and organizations interest to create additional synergy and connect the community further to the facility with the transformation of the downtown area.
- Option 2 would also include renovations to Riverview Ice House and add an NHL-sized rink indoors, and cost between $13 million and $18 million.
Results and Recommendations
Both options would require adding additional tax dollars to subsidize the operations and with the current financial realities of the Park District, the District would not be able to take on at this point in time.
- Hold on Options 1 & 2 (adding a sheet of ice)
- Evaluate consolidating locations in an effort to address aging facility needs and reduction of tax dollars needed for ice operations
- Identify and secure funding for the critical condition of Riverview Ice House’s mechanical systems and / or consolidation
- The Park District will work with our skating community as we go through this next process