Officials looking to build new hockey rink to avoid cutting programs

Officials looking to build new hockey rink to avoid cutting programs

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Lack of room to house those interested in hockey and other ice activities, has one organization raising funds to build a new rink.

Hockey in Amarillo is a lot more popular than you might think. In fact, so popular another sheet of ice is needed to avoid cutting programs for kids, and other ice enthusiasts.

There's activity in the civic center arena now, but only because there aren't any events that would require taking down the hockey rink. But it's a battle that continues. And the Amarillo Hockey Association is hoping they can raise enough funds to build another smaller venue for year-round ice activities.

"We're not talking a stadium where we're going to sit and move the bulls to or anything like that, this is strictly for youth hockey, for adult hockey, for figure skating and all ice sports within our community," says Program Director for the Amarillo Hockey Association Austin Sutter.

Many avid hockey players go elsewhere to play and practice to places like Oklahoma City or Denver. And a facility like this would ease a lot of the stress of traveling for coaches, parents and players.

Having another rink will also make Amarillo more attractive to host tournaments.

"We've grown so much over the last 4-5 seasons with kids and adults. We've gone...when I started here 7 years ago from 30 kids, now we're at 300 and that's kind of our max is what we've been saying is 300 participants," says Sutter.

The growth is also threatening the future of some hockey programs, altogether. Sutter says they will have to start cutting programs if they don't make more room, something he says is unfair to the kids.

"We're trying to do a year-long campaign," says Sutter. "There's 4 or 5 different tiers to the campaign where we're starting off with the 20-20 fundraiser where we're asking people to donate 20 dollars to continue 20 more years of hockey."

There are a few locations in mind for another rink, however the main focus at this time is getting funds to move forward.

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