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(5) comments

Sean O'Hara

All good options. Making the repairs immediately would give ice to the people in Huntsville while that rink is under construction. A full reno might be costly but would keep ice sports in Decatur for the long haul. Conversion to multisport can put roller hockey, basketball, volleyball and more in the same space and would be affordable, but would lose curling figure skating and others. The real question is, what is parks and rec going to actually support? Ice sports were rarely listed on the point mallard site, the hours are odd, information was sparse. If you do a full reno, there needs to be commitment to getting the ice sold and that means driving up demand through advertising. If your heart isn't in it, go cheaper.

Todd Greenlee

My family lives in Cullman and for the last 5 years my daughter has played hockey in the North Alabama Hockey Assoc. (NAHA). She started with the "Learn to skate" program as 6 year-old that had never skated before and fell in love with hockey. For the last 5 years we have made the drive to Decatur to the ice rink 2 or 3 times a week during hockey season and watched as more and more kids learned and fell in love with the sport of hockey - that is, until this year. I had hoped that the repairs would make the rink more suitable to support the growing interest in hockey and other ice sports, but it seems that may not happen.

The problem as I see it is that no one wants to do the rink the right way. The NAHA league plays the games in Huntsville because the rinks are better. The rink in Decatur, though an improvement over the old rink, seems to be a half-hearted attempt at a viable ice complex. The Locker rooms are inadequate, the pro shop is a joke, and the whole building is one band-aid after another. There are great people wanting to see hockey and other ice sports grow and they are investing a lot of their precious time to do so, but the facilities are so subpar that it seems they are being setup to fail.

If the city wants to see this facility make money and the programs to excel, then I propose that they do it with excellence. Give us a facility and a rink that we can use. I will happily continue to drive from Cullman to bring my kids to play hockey and I'm certain that there are more families that would do the same.

Vivian Smith

From my understanding, "overhaul the ice rink" would be the best option, meaning they would do all the repairs and completely redo the ice rink.

Stephen Lowman

If you watch the video from the city proposal about other multi- sport complexes, look at how high the roof is for the complexes from the video. The ceiling at the Point Mallard Ice Rink is too low for some sports. The ice rink probably could be used for volleyball and child’s soccer, but not well for baseball and softball without batting cages. This begs the question, how forward thinking is the city when there is already batting cages and fields at point mallard, nice soccer fields also, but the ice rink is something different which separates Decatur from most other Alabama and South Tennessee communities. Truth is, people do drive long distances to use the ice rink and if it was properly managed and it’s ice programs advertised throughout the region, this could be a huge draw to the complex. Huntsville’s ice rink stays packed year around and they already need more ice.

Stephen Lowman

And there is one last item from the video presentation on the sports complex proposal from a couple of weeks ago in the paper that I wish the city would expand upon. It was reported that the ice rink’s best year was in 2003 where the loss was only $31000 and it sounded like there were some things which happened in that year (there was no detail provided as to what happened that year). That’s a far cry from the money the ice rink lost in other years. My question is what happened in 2003 that minimized the financial loss, and was it tied to the hosting of special events or skating programs? And if that is the case, why did the rink not continue to do or expand on these programs in the years that followed.

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