Airdrie's Plainsmen Arena, originally built in 1974, is receiving a much-needed renovation that includes a new ice surface, ice plant, rink boards, player’s benches and spectator seating.
However, after months of renovations, it will not be open in time for the start of the 2011-12 season. With an expected opening date of October 31, the delay of three weeks will leave ice user groups in a lurch. Tim Kehoe, president of the Airdrie Minor Hockey Association said although Ron Ebbesen Arena could work for practice time, it's weekend ice time that's of the biggest concern.
Michelle Lock of the City says they are working with ice user groups to ensure that they all get ice time for core programs during the month of October. Options include shared ice time, purchasing ice time outside of Airdrie, reduced ice time for all groups and limiting ice time to child and youth teams only, for the month of October. Bird Construction is working extended hours, compressing the schedule and overlapping trades as much as possible to speed the project along.