The University of Saskatchewan is ratcheting up the arena talk in Saskatoon with an update on their plans to replace the aging Rutherford rink.
Greg Fowler, vice president of finance and resources for the U of S, told the Brent Loucks Show Thursday the university was looking at building a twin sheet rink facility south of the Field House.
Fowler said the university has chosen two private companies to build and operate the future facility, which would become the new home for the Huskies hockey program.
“One pad would be an event center, the other would be in terms of the practice and rec hockey and things like that,” said Fowler.
“It would be quite a sports complex with Griffiths Stadium, the Field House, the twin pad facility and the soccer fields.”
While final designs have not been finalized, Fowler said they could have a proposal ready to take to the U of S Board of Governors by June.
At the same time, the university is working to secure financing for the project. Fowler said they have submitted a request to the City of Saskatoon, which has already pledged $1-million towards a new rink facility in the city.
“We do have a campaign going on right now and we are looking at all the funding sources for this project. We’ve been really pleased about the community support for this so far,” said Fowler.
The aging Rutherford rink was built in 1929 for $50,000 and Fowler said the clock is ticking on its life span.
“Rutherford is 87 right now. We don’t think we have 10 years. We think we only have two.”
Fowler said the earliest a new facility would be ready is September 2017.
Earlier this month, Tourism Saskatoon floated the idea of a new arena for downtown. Director Randy Fernets said new complex would help bring in more events and wants such a facility included in the city’s long term plan for downtown.