Libro Centre Ice to Open Despite Projected Revenue Loss

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Ice pads are expected to be operational at the Libro Centre in Amherstburg by October 4.

After a lengthy debate Monday night, council opted to move forward with getting the rinks ready despite a projected revenue loss of $245,000 for the months of October, November and December.

Councillor Don McArthur argued to open the arena stating hockey is needed more than ever as kids have been without much to do since the pandemic began.

"There's a cost to community building and a community needs a rink. If there was ever a time a community needed a rink and a sense of normalcy it's now,” he says. “Kids are really longing for a sense of normalcy and nothing is more normal than hockey in Canada in winter."

McArthur believes it's a price worth paying.

"There is a bog cost to it and it's a cost that is borne by the entire municipality. I like to think that I live in a municipality that's willing to pay that cost for the kids, for the families and for a little bit of Canadiana,” McArthur added. “It ain't going to be the same, but it is going to be hockey."

According to McArthur,  it's time to move forward and hope for the best.

"Corona kids have grit, but it's been tough on them and it's been tough on everyone and this is just a little bit of optimism, a little bit of hope. I don't think we can make a decision tonight based on what might happen,” he says. “We have to make a decision tonight based on what we know and what we know is that we have a facility that can have an ice pad."

Council passed its motion with a commitment from user groups to put forward a portion of rental fees up front to get the process of reopening the facility underway.

The majority of the town's 64 prime time ice hours each week have already been spoken for.