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Ice rink complex study will cost $24,500
One of the 250 ice rinks designed by B32 Ice Rink Engineers.

A Wisconsin firm that has built 250 rinks from community based facilities to National Hockey League complexes will help determine a basic design, phased site plan, cost estimates, as well as a sustainability estimate for a proposed ice rink on 12.36 acres owned by the City of Manteca to the west of the Great Wolf Resort.

B32 Ice Rink engineers would partner with Archtechnia of Stockton to conduct the $24,500 under a plan being considered by the Manteca City Council when they meet Tuesday at 7 p.m.

The cost of the study would be split 50-50 by the city and Manteca Development Group — the firm the city hired to market the 100-plus acre family entertainment zone.

The first phase would include an ice rink as well as practice facilities and franchise offices that would be used by the Stockton Heat of the American Hockey League. The Heat play their home games at Stockton Arena. They use the Oak Park ice rink in Stockton that lacks facilities to support the team outside of the rink itself.

The Calgary Flames affiliate is working with Manteca. The City of Stockton is also being kept in the loop. The two cities are working together in a bid to keep the Heat — that has been looking at moving to Fresno — within San Joaquin County

If the first phase is built the ice rink would also be available for public skating, youth and adult hockey leagues, figure skating, curling competitions, and other ice events. The ice could be covered during the hockey season when the team is away to enable the scheduling of expositions, conventions, and trade shows and other public events according to a city staff report.

During the off season the ice would be removed to allow greater opportunities for public uses.

The Heat would continue to play at Stockton Arena.  At some point in the future and if the Heat make a long term commitment, the city would consider a second phase that would build an ice rink/events center with 4,000 to 5,000 seats to serve as the home ice for the professional hockey team.

 The second phase, should it happen can’t occur until the McKinley Avenue interchange on the 120 Bypass is in place. In terms of freeway access, a Manteca arena would be within a half mile of two freeway interchanges along the 120 Bypass. The Stockton Arena has no nearby direct freeway access and requires a circuitous route through downtown and residential punctuated with numerous traffic signals.

Even if simply a state-of-the-art ice rink arena was built hosting recreation leagues and competitive amateur hockey tournaments as well as other non-ice events the project would help fill rooms at Great Wolf and at least two other nearby hotels being planned to generate room tax for the city.