ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — The Rockford Park District and Ice Hogs held a news conference to announce the reopening of the Riverview Ice House. The Ice Facility went under $9million in renovation in order to stay afloat.
“Today is really a celebration of, of community coming together to reopen this iconic facility,” said Jay Sandine, the Executive Director for the Park District.
The place was built back in 1975. Sandine, Members of the Ice Hogs, and Monetary supporters of the facility spoke at the news conference. They explained the importance of the facility staying.
The Park District contributed $3.5million. Grants led by Senator Steve Stadelman raised $2.5million, and the Provenzano Family donated $1million.
“Just a huge save Riverview effort,” Sandine said. “And everything teamed up with the Park District’s willingness to say while it pauses our on our master plan recommendations and see if we can make that work. And it worked and it was a result of the community.”
The 48-year-old facility saw upgrades to the mechanical/refrigeration system, Hockey boards, and glass, as well as renovations throughout like new locker rooms. With the Ice Hogs practice facility at times and a large hockey community present many felt keeping the Ice House around was necessary.
“It’s really to give the kids a place to be, a place to play, a place to be a kid,” said Ryan Snider, the President of Business Operations for the Rockford Ice Hogs. “That’s what this is all about. Providing opportunities, providing opportunities for them to play and grow and learn to be a great person. That can all happen in this building behind us. And it you know, now that it’s been renovated, now that it’s ready for the future, that’ll go on for years and years to come.”
To cap off the day of festivities was the first ever Ice Hogs game at the Ice House. It was a sold out crowd for the preseason performance.
“It’s just really fun to be here,” Emily Thames said as she made her way into the stadium to watch her favorite team. “And like, everybody loves hockey and you can always go talk to people, it’s just all this community loves hockey.”