At its regular monthly meeting on January 9, 2023, the New Richmond City Council approved a request from the New Richmond Youth Hockey Association (NRYHA) to acquire seven acres of land in the Business & Technical Park for the intended purpose of constructing a new multi-purpose community facility. Utilizing this land for such a facility will undoubtedly invigorate the local economy and serve everyone from youth to seniors in the New Richmond area through health, wellness, and training-related activities. NRYHA will be the anchor of the multi-purpose facility which contemplates two covered sheets of ice for hockey. The City Council and NRYHA Board of Directors will memorialize the terms of the agreement for the Business & Technical Park land acquisition in the coming months.
The existing hockey facility, located at 450 Sports Center Road, was built in the late 1970s and served the needs of local athletes for many years. The existing rink is now in need of significant repairs and improvements and no longer meets the needs of the growing community.
There is a considerable amount of work ahead for the NRYHA, including but not limited to engineering/design work and a capital campaign. There are many decisions yet to be made, but securing a site for a future facility at this moment in time allows the NRYHA to move forward with both short-term and long-range planning. The City Council is pleased to partner with the NRYHA and recognizes the positive impact that hockey has in the community, and is excited about the potential opportunities that a multi-purpose facility could provide for all citizens in the New Richmond area.
New Richmond needs a multipurpose facility for youth and adults in our growing community. The City needs recreational amenities for the community to enjoy. The areas of greatest need include training facilities, spaces for our seniors to remain fit and active, meeting rooms and a
hockey rink. A multipurpose community facility can accomplish all of these goals. A project of this size and scope is attainable for New Richmond. While the New Richmond Youth Hockey Association (NRYHA) may be the driver of this project, hockey is simply the anchor of a facility that will meet the needs of New Richmond. The City of New Richmond has graciously provided hockey a facility for many years, but hockey has outgrown the arena. Not only is the facility understandably in need of improvements and upgrades, our hockey program has outgrown the size of the facility. We currently rent ice from neighboring communities just to allow our teams to have the number of practices and games that are recommended by USA Hockey.
The time has come for the hockey rink to keep up with the demand of our association and community, and the Community agrees. Hockey was identified as the third greatest of opportunities for the New Richmond community in the next five years coming in behind new businesses and growth. Also, the second biggest area of improvement for the City identified in the survey was Youth athletic facilities.
The facility, located on the 7.4 acres available, includes training and sports medicine rooms, a child and teen area, a walking track, locker rooms, café/concession area, outdoor pavilion for summer events—eventually to be used for a second sheet of ice—and a year-round indoor hockey rink. The time has come for our community to enjoy a facility that will meet the size and quality of everyone who lives here, and the time has come for the City Beautiful to include a beautiful facility to make New Richmond a destination community on top of a premier place to live.
Private partners are also interested in supporting the endeavor from financial institutions to healthcare facilities to individual donors. While the project will involve a significant investment from many people, up-front and on-going, NRYHA is spearheading the campaign to make this project a reality. NRYHA has invested our own funds to not only allow our current facility to remain useful for the rest of our lease, but also to hire a professional capital campaign management firm to be sure the project is done correctly.
We are excited about the partnership from the City on any level, but it starts with the site for our vision. Hockey is the anchor and driving force behind New Richmond's need for a multipurpose facility. We have the most immediate and largest spacial need. The Community has identified what they see as the need and priority for New Richmond. Hockey is ready for the next step and we hope the City recognizes the next step is upon us.