Cranbrook may spend close to a million and a half dollars on the home of its Western Hockey League team to meet new standards.
The league says Western Financial Place (WFP), which is owned by the City, needs new acrylic rink boards and a jumbotron by the 2019/2020 season.
The City converted the facility to LED lightning last year in an effort to meet stipulations set by the WHL, as well as make the facility more energy efficient.
Mayor Lee Pratt says Council is budgeting for the other two items, explaining the boards will be upgraded this year and they will allocate money for a video component at WFP in 2019.
“The boards is somewhere between $300,000-$400,000,” the mayor suggests. “The big thing with [the boards] is there is a big safety factor involved with that, so that makes it justifiable to spend that kind of money.”
“And then the jumbotron is anywhere from $500,000 to $1,00,000.”
Mayor Pratt says the lease agreement between the City and the Kootenay ICE outlines who is responsible for certain upgrades needed to meet WHL standards, but there hasn’t been any discussions regarding those details between the two sides.
He didn’t say who is responsible for new boards and a jumbotron but adds the City has been trying to discuss potential costs with team owners without success.
When asked if he was confident the two sides will sit down in the future, Pratt responded he’s, “cautiously optimistic”.
The mayor adds the City wants to make sure the Kootenay ICE stay in Cranbrook, so they’re willing to do their part.
– Cranbrook Mayor Lee Pratt