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But the council voted 3-2 in favor of Hovland’s suggestion.
Green said the hockey association had supported the staff recommendation for more hockey hours at Braemar. He said his group will help the Skating Club find hours at other arenas.
“I want to make sure people understand that every hour of ice time at Braemar for [hockey] positively affects 17 to 34 families,” he said. “I think the mayor and City Council recognize that there is some inequality between our access and the club’s.”
He said the council action “will get us some more prime time over the next couple of years, and then we’ll see what happens.”
Brian Hedberg, president of the Skating Club, said he was grateful that the council “didn’t undermine one organization for the importance of another.”
“We’ve been great partners for many years, so it was a complete surprise that we were heading in a direction where the two organizations were essentially being compared to each other and that we would lose access to ice … based on participant numbers only,” he said.
He said that losing hours is a challenge but that the group would make it work. Braemar is the club’s home, Hedberg said, and the club wants to keep it that way.
At the council meeting, Brindle said she was concerned that no matter how Braemar’s ice time is shuffled, hockey’s popularity means that the association will still need ice at other locations. Hovland and Hedberg both mentioned the possibility of adding a fourth sheet of artificial ice outside of Braemar.
“All of this puts a lot of pressure on parents, on Braemar, on the surrounding arenas,” Brindle said. “We are going to be back here and talking about this again.”
Mary Jane Smetanka • 612-673-7380