Sunday, July 15, 2018

Yekaterinburg International Exhibition Center to open three ice rinks for children's use

Yekaterinburg's International Exhibition Centre will undergo a $1.7 million renovation to convert its No. 2 pavilion into three ice rinks for use by the Spartak sports school and other area youth.

Two of the rinks are already nearly completed, with plans calling for the construction of an additional rink as well as showers and changing rooms. Designers planned the ice facilities inside pavilion No. 2 so that the rinks can be dismantled in as little as two days to make room for large-scale exhibitions such as Innoprom, Oblgazeta reports.

"Today in Yekaterinburg, there are only six ice rinks," Sverdlovsk Regional Government Chair Denis Pasler said, according to Oblgazeta. "It's too little...With the introduction of these three courts over the last month or two we will be able to increase the capacity of urban rinks by 50 percent."

In other countries where hockey is popular, such as Canada and Finland, there is typically one ice rink for every 40-50 thousand residents. To meet that average in the Urals, a total of 20 ice rinks would need to be available to the public.

The Spartak youth sports school will be among the first to access the new ice rinks, which are expected to be completed in January. In the interim, the young athletes will continue to train at the Kurganovo facility situated in a remote area of Yekaterinburg. Once the three new ice rinks have opened, Pasler will consider creating a special bus system to bring children to and from the exhibition center, Oblgazeta reports.

"At these sites, you can play hockey, figure skating, short track, perhaps curling," Spartak Deputy Director Sergey Istomin said, according to Oblgazeta. "We held meetings with the teams, with students, parents-- everyone is happy...For those who are studying in our school, of course, it will all be free."