The ice at Nelson’s Civic Centre is closing for the season. File photo

The ice at Nelson’s Civic Centre is closing for the season. File photo

Castlegar’s Pioneer Arena and Nelson Civic Centre closing for season

RDCK is closing the ice at two of its arenas due to financial concerns related to COVID-19

Ice sheets at the Pioneer Arena in Castlegar and the Civic Centre in Nelson are closing for the season.

The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) has announced Pioneer Arena will close effective Jan. 18 and the Civic Centre will close effective Jan. 29.

The RDCK says the decision was made after the Public Health Order restricting adult participation in sport was extended on Jan. 8 without an expiration date on sections of the order that apply to sport and fitness.

Adults have not been able to participate in team sports since Nov. 19, 2020.

The closure is being done to reduce expenditures in response to the reduction in revenue, according to the RDCK.

Rental revenue at the RDCK’s five arenas decreased by $118,000 between mid September and the end of December 2020 compared to the same time period in 2019.

The impact of COVID-19 on the RDCK’s community services has been significant. Usage of all its facilities throughout the region has dramatically dropped.

Adult indoor team sport is not permitted, while minor hockey, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) and British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) cannot play games or travel.

No games or tournaments have been booked in any RDCK facility, further impacting revenue.

Considering the reduction in ice usage, the RDCK says that ice demand can be accommodated by only keeping the ice sheets at the Creston, Castlegar and Nelson and District Community Complexes open for the remainder of the winter season.

“The RDCK supports the Provincial Health Officer and the Province of British Columbia’s efforts to keep communities safe by limiting social interaction, but this comes with sacrifices for everyone,” said Joe Chirico, General Manager of Community Services.

“However, these restrictions have seriously affected the rental revenue of our recreation services. Decisions like this, although difficult, are important to ensure that the cost of our recreation services are balanced between user fees and taxation.”

READ MORE: Late season start frustrating for Nakusp ski hill



betsy.kline@castlegarnews.com

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Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin

Pioneer Arena is closing for the season. Photo: John Boivin

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