ATLANTIC CITY – Parents and skaters are trying to keep the Skate Zone from closing and would like the city to buy it.
The Bader Field field facility was built by the Philadelphia Flyers and Comcast and was owned by CRDA in the late 90s. Black Bear Sports Group took over operation in September 2020.
The NHL-sized rink is used by the University of Stockton men’s hockey team, the Atlantic City Figure Skating Club, high school teams from Mainland and Egg Harbor Township, a men’s league and the Atlantic City Sharks youth hockey program.
97.3 ESPN South Jersey Reports that Black Bear would like to sign a long-term lease to carry out repairs and renovations to the 23-year-old facility, but the CRDA will not offer more than a year-to-year lease.
“We regret to inform you that Atlantic City Skate Zone LLC has not had the opportunity to renew a long-term lease with the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority, owner of the Skate Zone building,” said General Manager Jared Siganuk. in a press release. 97.3 ESPN Jersey South.
“As a result, we will vacate the rink on March 7, 2022 and to our knowledge it will close at that time.”
Long-term or short-term lease
Skating Area Operations Manager Steve Bergeron told the Atlantic City press that it would take about $300,000 to complete the repairs. The biggest repair needed is to what makes everything else possible: the machine that makes the ice cream. He’s leaking Freon and his legs have corroded to the point of collapsing.
The Sharks program has an online petition in the hope that the CRDA will accept a longer lease or that the city will intervene. If the rink were to close, the petition says the closest rink is one o’clock away.
Siganuk and the CRDA on Wednesday afternoon did not respond to New Jersey 101.5’s request for more information.
Contact journalist Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ
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