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New Burlingame rink proposal raising eyebrows in Silicon Valley

 

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While a passionate group of local citizens continues to fight to re-open a rink in San Mateo that’s been shuttered for three years, support for a new facility in nearby Burlingame is growing stronger.

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The Save the Bridgepointe Rink Citizens’ Group has teamed up with the non-profit Mid-Peninsula Ice Rink Foundation to support construction of a new rink in Burlingame, a proposal which includes at least two ice rinks, locker rooms, a training center, restaurant, parking and youth homework center that would be operated by Sharks Ice LLC, an affiliate of the San Jose Sharks that operates ice rinks in San Jose, Oakland and Fremont.

The closures of the Bridgepointe Ice Rink in San Mateo in 2013 and Belmont Iceland rink in April 2016 have left only one operating rink in the heart of Silicon Valley, forcing thousands of young athletes to either quit skating or travel hours to train at rinks out of the area. SPI Holdings LLC, the San Francisco-based real estate development firm that owns the Bridgepointe property, closed the 46,000 square-foot rink on June 1, 2013, and has since offered the city of San Mateo $8 million in exchange to tear down the rink and build new retail stores in its place.

“We’re excited and supportive of any project that can be adequately financed and funded that results in an ice rink in the community,” said Len Rosenduft, co-founder of the Save the Bridgepointe Rink Citizens’ Group. “Our priority continues to be the reopening of the Bridgepointe rink. However, if the city of San Mateo takes the money from SPI in exchange for closing and rezoning of the Bridgepointe rink, we’d certainly like to see those funds go to a replacement rink in the region.

“Given the loss of the Bridgepointe ice facility, together with the subsequent rink closure in Belmont and the lack of available real estate in the city of San Mateo to build a replacement rink, the $8 million should be earmarked for a public-private rink development at a suitable location in the area, regardless of whether it is located within city boundaries.”

— John B. Spigott