Mankato Area Hockey Association seeks $9 million in sales tax funding for new arena

Mankato Area Hockey Association seeks $9 million in sales tax funding for new arena

MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The Mankato Area Hockey Association is leading an effort to request $9 million in sales tax funding from the City of Mankato for a new ice arena.

All Seasons Arena in Mankato is used for activities from ice skating to hockey.

There are 61 user groups of ice in Mankato.

Proponents of a new ice arena said there’s an increase in participation, but that comes with a cost.

According to the association, lack of ice availability can lead to scheduling more away games.

They said the estimated economic loss is anywhere between $1,715,250 and $2,287,000.

“Currently we are hosting six tournaments. We would like to host up to 20 tournaments. With the shortage of ice that we’re having, in all likelihood we won’t be able to host any tournaments. That’s an economic loss of $114,000 per tournament that we wouldn’t be able to host," said Eric Boelter, a board member with the association.

The association said right now, they are experiencing an ice deficiency of around 600 hours compared to USA Hockey suggestions.

They said they anticipate that number growing every year they go without more ice.

The association also said in order to maximize time on the ice, they have more kids on the ice than what is recommended.

“You know recently, the last couple of years, we’ve had, you know, in our in-house levels anywhere between 60-70 plus kids on the ice at the same time," said Adam Arnoldy, the association’s president.

According to Boelter, there are over 20 other groups that also need more ice hours.

Boelter said the new facility wouldn’t just be for hockey tournaments.

Other activities would include family skating nights.

“It would provide a lot more opportunities at this new facility," he said.

The group plans to also raise an additional $9 million to help with the facility.

They hope to hear from the city after a feasibility study has been completed in early October.

Land has been donated for the new arena at Highway 14 and Victory Drive.

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