The New York Rangers and Chase announced today the launch of New York Rangers Assist supported by Chase, a program designed to improve the youth hockey experience and increase opportunities and accessibility to the sport. The new community-based program will start by helping refurbishing hockey rinks in Rye and Long Beach, New York that were damaged by Hurricane Sandy and have been out of operation since the storm.
Restorations will begin immediately at The City of Long Beach Arena in Long Beach and Playland Ice Casino in Rye. The City of Long Beach Arena, which will receive a new refrigeration system for the rink, new rubber flooring and sheetrock for the entire arena, and zamboni and electrical repairs, is scheduled to reopen in March. Playland Ice Casino will also receive a new refrigeration system along with roof and structural repairs, and is expected to open its doors in fall 2013. As part of the program, the Rangers and Chase will also host a variety of free events and activities to celebrate the reopening of the rinks with appearances from Rangers alumni.
“We are proud to collaborate with Chase to restore two community rinks in New York that have a special connection to the Rangers organization and serve so many hockey fans in the area,” said Howard Jacobs, executive vice president of marketing and sales, MSG Sports. “This new program further expands the Rangers longstanding commitment to providing youth and adults with a variety of opportunities through camps, clinics and special events to have fun, learn the game of hockey and hone their skills.”
“Our partnership with the Rangers is an extension of our long standing commitment to ‘do the right thing’ in New York communities – it’s engrained in our culture and how we run our business,” said Colleen Canny, head of Chase branches in the Northeast US. “This storm impacted our employees, our customers and our communities, so it’s only right for us to be a good neighbor as we rebuild.”
Both rinks hold historical significance to the Rangers franchise, having previously served as training facilities for the team. The Blueshirts practiced at the City of Long Beach Arena in the 1970s and Playland Ice Casino from 1979 until 2002, prior to the opening of the MSG Training Center for the 2002-03 season. The two locations are also currently official community rink partners of the team.
Last season, the Rangers held over 250 community events in the tri-state area, giving more than 10,000 youth the opportunity to experience hockey through free camps, clinics, and skating events. New York Rangers Assist supported by Chase adds to the Rangers expanding list of community initiatives that focus on growing hockey throughout the tri-state.
This new community program is part of a broader commitment by Madison Square Garden and Chase to take action in the community. The New York Knicks and Chase unveiled a similar initiative in December - Basketball in the Boroughs, presented by Chase - a program that serves thousands of youth in the five boroughs through free basketball clinics, Knicks player and alumni appearances, and basketball court refurbishments.