Plans to develop a new state-of-the art public ice-skating facility at the Orange County Great Park located in Irvine, California were unveiled today. Pending Irvine City Council approval, which is set to vote on the matter Tuesday, Nov. 24, the project will break ground in fall of 2016.
The facility will be managed by the THE RINKS Ice Management Team, which currently operates four Southern California ice facilities. The new Great Park Ice Complex will be owned by the newly formed Irvine Ice Foundation, a nonprofit organization which will be made up of locally-based civic leaders. The Samueli Foundation will serve as a major foundation contributor, with all proceeds generated from the complex going to further the growth of ice sports and activities locally.
“Ice hockey participation in Orange County, including youth, high school and adult, has seen exponential growth in just the past few years. So much so, that it is becoming increasingly difficult for those who play, or who are interested in playing, to find available ice time,” said Michael Schulman, Managing Director of the Great Park Ice Complex. “Not only does this facility answer a growing need in our area, but its location in the Orange County Great Park assures it will be a community asset for decades to come.”
Set to open in January 2018, the new facility will also be home to a bevy of activities in addition to hockey, including public recreational skating, competitive and recreational figure skating, curling, broomball and additional community events. It will include four sheets of ice, one of which will feature seating for 2,500 spectators, giving the area’s burgeoning high school hockey league an appropriate location to host highly attended games.
“Upon completion, this project will set the bar for public ice facilities around the country,” said Art Trottier, Vice President of THE RINKS. “The Great Park Ice Complex is an exciting development for the community and a needed asset to meet the growing demand for ice activities and hockey programs in our area.”
The Anaheim Ducks RINKS Development Program, which includes both ice and inline facilities, began in February 2009 with one ice rink and one inline rink. Over the past six years the program has expanded to include seven local facilities, four ice and three inline. The organization’s Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry sponsored Learn to Play programs are running over capacity with a six-month waiting list for all ice sessions. Additionally, with all four existing Rinks located in north Orange County, the Great Park RINKS location fills the need of a more convenient location for those who live in the southern part of the county.
The Orange County Great Park spans approximately 1,300 acres and embraces recreation, competitive sports and parkland. Already one of Orange County’s more well-known landmarks, the wide variety of park amenities aims to please residents and visitors of all-ages and continues to develop. The new RINKS location at the Great Park will perfectly complement the 175-acre multi-sports parks set to debut next year and early 2017, creating the premier recreational and competitive location in Orange County.