August 1, 2014
Dear FYHA Membership,
As you may have heard, City Council will be meeting Wednesday, August 6th at Noon to discuss the possibility of closing the York Arena on a 1-year trial basis. For those who are unaware, when the Grant Harvey Centre opened, the York Arena was given a 2-year grace period to allow for the city to adjust and see what impact the new facilities would have on the demand for ice time.
With 1036 members in 2011-12, 1064 in 2012-13 and recently 1156 in 13-14 we cannot afford to lose the York Arena. This past season our association spent 73% more on ice time versus 2011-12, and added approximately an additional 50 hours on a weekly basis. Last season our association rented 27 hours per week at the York Arena, with the potential loss of the facility the city of Fredericton will not be able to support the needs of our growing association. This means FYHA will be forced to either cap registration numbers at 900-950 kids or be forced to send teams on icy roads in the middle of winter to Chipman, Minto, Keswick and Stanley. As President of FYHA I cannot say I feel good about either alternative.
Our objective as a minor hockey association is to provide the opportunity for a maximum number of players to participate in physical activity and the game we all love. Limiting the number of available ice times in the city by shutting down the York Arena as part of a 1-year pilot project will eliminate us from reaching our goals as an organization.
Please be advised that the meeting on August 6th is open to the public at City Hall. The FYHA highly advises that all supporters of minor hockey (parents, grandparents, children, aunts/uncles) in the Fredericton area attend this meeting and show council your support for the York Arena. Our association and the success of minor winter sport in the Fredericton region depend on it.
Yours in Hockey,
Personally, I have been in touch with several members of Fredericton City Council that I consider friends who have all stated that they will be voting against any closure of the arena and it must stay open.
I believe them and feel confident that this vote will go on the direction of those that know how important the York Arena is.
Incidentally, I posted a link to my last blog entry on a Facebook group that I am a member of. Most of the group members understand heritage and the value of places like this. They commented their messages of support and agreement.
The first comment however was someone who only said "Boo Hoo".
I'll give that person the benefit of the doubt and assume that the sentiments are genuine sadness at the prospect of losing the York Arena. No one could be surly enough to inject sarcasm into this matter, could they?
I can't inagine that anyone would have such a blatant lack of caring for a part of local heritage and kids' activities.
I remain optimistic.