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Kings, ASEC move forward with new rink in Reseda

 

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More ice rinks in the Los Angeles area? Yes, please.

Given the escalating squeeze on ice availability across the region in recent years, the announcement earlier this month that Los Angeles City Councilmember Bob Blumenfield and Los Angeles Kings president Luc Robitaille signed a memorandum of understanding solidifying a new public-private partnership to build and operate the Reseda Ice Rink was surely music to plenty of skating families’ ears.

Groundbreaking on the $26 million facility, which will be funded by the city and the Kings, is expected to begin early next year with an anticipated opening in 2020. In addition to the NHL-sized ice sheet, the project will include a roller hockey rink.

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When completed, the city’s first-ever, year-round recreational ice facility will be owned by the Department of Recreation and Parks and managed by the Kings and American Sports Entertainment Company (ASEC), the largest independent owner-operator of ice rinks in the United States which oversees 19 facilities across the nation, including El Segundo’s Toyota Sports Center (TSC) – the official training facility of the two-time Stanley Cup champions and home of the Los Angeles Jr. Kings.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for the Kings to continue to grow the game of hockey in Los Angeles,” said Robitaille. “We’d like to thank Councilmember Blumenfield and Reseda for their hard work and diligent efforts in helping make this a reality.

“We look forward to seeing the shovel in the dirt and watching the Reseda Ice Rink come to fruition. The facility is something that’ll be enjoyed by the community for a long, long time.”

“I’m proud to further cement the bond between Los Angeles and our iconic Kings as we move forward to create this unique and historic facility in the West Valley,” Blumenfield added. “I want to thank the entire Kings organization for their partnership on this project and dedication to our city, ensuring that future generations of Angelenos will have access to learn and love hockey and skating.”

Kelly Cheeseman, COO of the Kings and AEG Sports, is also excited to see another ice facility take shape over the next couple of years and nothing but confident the venture will enhance the sport on a number of levels.

“One of the core missions of the Kings is to be a strong and active presence and partner in our community, and the Kings and AEG playing an integral part of the Reseda Ice Rink initiative is something we believe will greatly benefit not only those who love the game of hockey, but young athletes in particular,” said Cheeseman.

“The location is ideal and really fits a need; there’s great demand for ice in Los Angeles as our game continues to expand and increase in popularity.”

Look no further than the Kings’ recent efforts to afford more playing opportunities at virtually every level. In addition to the continued success of the Jr. Kings program, the NHL club’s investment in the burgeoning LA Kings High School Hockey League and LA Lions girls program, along with other figure skating, recreational and learn-to-play initiatives, has the three-sheet TSC bursting at the seams.

Other rinks in the LA area are in the same boat, and another facility located within striking distance of so many local hockey-playing families backed by the Kings and led by a first-class rink management outfit in ASEC can’t help but ease the ice burden while opening more doors for current and future players and their families.

“It’s huge, and not just for our club but all the other programs in the area, too, that are doing such a great job introducing more kids to the game and helping them develop a love for the sport,” Jr. Kings general manager of hockey operations Nick Vachon said of the rink in Reseda. “Collectively as we keep moving the game forward, the more ice we have to work with the better.”

— Brian McDonough

(Oct. 23, 2018)