Oak Park Ice Rink a key component to St. Mary’s program
When the St. Mary’s High School program takes the ice this fall, the team will be calling the Oak Park Ice Rink its home arena.
Located in Stockton, the arena is one of the busiest rinks in all of Northern California and is operated by SMG.
“SMG is excited to be working with St. Mary’s High School as they launch their hockey program,” said SMG Stockton general manager Kendra Clark. “Hockey has been an integral part of the Stockton community and it’s exciting to see the support take it to this level.”
Get to know the Oak Park Ice Rink:
• The rink is open on average 355 days per year for an average of 10 hours per day
• Home to the Stockton Colts Hockey club, Stockton Figure Skating Club and Stockton Old-Timers Hockey Club
• Additional programming includes: Learn to Skate, Try Skating For Free, Neon Nights Public Skate, Curling League, Public Skate and Birthday Party Packaging
• The rink first opened in 1970
• Ice surface is 200 feet by 85 feet
• Rink contains a full-service pro shop
• Seating capacity is 350 spectators
And while lots of attention gets put on hockey in Southern California, Clark is hoping that SMG and St. Mary’s can forge a new niche in Stockton and the surrounding communities.
“Hockey has a strong heritage in Northern California with the San Jose Sharks being a powerhouse in the Bay Area,” said Clark. “Most notably, hockey has grown tremendously in the Stockton community starting with the ECHL’s Stockton Thunder in 2005 and now the Stockton Heat of the AHL. Over the past 10 years, this has translated into Stockton becoming a hockey town and youth hockey growing exponentially with now over 12 teams playing out of the Oak Park Ice Rink.”
Derek Eisler, who is spearheading the St. Mary’s hockey program, is elated with the notion of calling Oak Park Ice Rink home.
“Oak Park is a really good building that shows the resilience of the community of Stockton,” Eisler said. “SMG has done a great job with upkeep and cleanliness of the building and is very goal-oriented about all ice sports in Stockton.”
As for SMG’s background in hockey, the company has been going strong for more than 40 years. A world leader in venue management, marketing and development, SMG was founded in 1977 with the management of its first facility, the Louisiana Superdome.
SMG soon grew to manage convention centers, exhibition halls and trade centers, arenas, stadiums, performing arts centers, theaters and specific-use venues such as equestrian centers.
In Stockton, SMG currently manages the Oak Park Ice Rink, Stockton Arena, Bob Hope Theatre, Stockton Ballpark and Stockton Downtown Marina.
At the end of the day, Clark feels creating the relationship with St. Mary’s is one that oozes potential.
“SMG looks forward to being a partner with St. Mary’s High School,” said Clark. “As community leaders in Stockton, this is a win-win for both entities.”
— Matt Mackinder
(Aug. 22, 2018)