Ice Oval Society Aiming for Weekend Opening
Prince George, B.C. – With this week’s cold snap, it won’t be long until Prince George’s Ice Oval at Exhibition Park reopens.
“Well, I’m sure the ice makers are gunning for this weekend,” says spokesperson Dick Voneugen.
He says work started last weekend but notes it’s quite the task.
“On Sunday, the guys put a coat of moisture on the snow and the snow had previously been packed with a number of vehicles around and around to get it into a solid state,” says Voneugen. “And it’ll be pretty soon that we finally get our water truck out there. It has a 2,000-gallon tank on it. It’ll take about 40 loads before we have skateable ice.”
He says this year’s late start is not “terribly unusual” considering they’ve started as late as just before Christmas in the past.
Voneugen says the late start is an example of why the Ice Oval Society is pushing to secure funding for a refrigeration system which would allow them to start skating at 10 above.
“It’s got a big price tag of $4 million but we’re starting to ask people. We’ve got a button that says ‘Chill the Oval.’ We’re asking people to show their enthusiasm for that by paying $5 and giving us their name and phone number and maybe an intent when things start rolling to come up with a bigger donation.”
At its Sept. 19 meeting Prince George city council showed its support by approving the society’s request to have the project referred to the city’s unfunded list in the 2018 five-year capital plan.
That move allowed the society to seek funding from the federal and provincial governments while proceeding with their ‘Chill the Oval’ campaign at the same time (see previous story here).