New rink possibly coming to the KC area?

A story in yesterday’s Lawrence Journal-World mentions that the proposed rec center in Northwest Lawrence may include an ice rink.

On the indoor facility, Schumm said it is still envisioned to have at least eight full-length basketball courts that could be used for volleyball and other indoor sports. But the latest version also includes an indoor ice rink that could be used for hockey and other skating.

An ice rink in Lawrence would be a wonderful addition to the Lawrence-Topeka-Kansas City area. The problem I see is that Lawrence isn’t very progressive. I know that seems like a silly thing to say considering Douglas and Wyandotte counties are the last bastions of liberals left in the state of Kansas. However, traditionally, Lawrence hasn’t really taken a “hey, let’s get out and try something new” kind of attitude toward city planning. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Lawrence. I may retire there someday. I make at least 10 trips a year down K-10 for KU events or just to visit Lawrence. I honestly never thought anyone in Lawrence would see the potential wide-open market for a ice facility and spend the bucks to try to build one.

I KNOW Lawrence can support an ice facility. Hell, if Ames, Iowa or Kearney, Nebraska or Jeff City, Missouri or backwardass Springfield, Missouri can support an ice facility, then Lawrence can support an ice facility (and the fact that it is proposed for NW Lawrence means Topeka would be included).

Anyone who thinks the ice facility wouldn’t get enough traffic has never actually BEEN to an ice facility in Kansas City. KC Ice Center in Shawnee has 10 and 11-year olds practicing until 9:30 at night and adults playing hockey until Midnight several nights per week. It’s the same thing for Line Creek and the community ice facility at the Independence Events Center. Every adult league and a few youth teams have Lawrence residents playing in them.

I guarantee parents in Western Shawnee would gladly drive their kids to Lawrence a couple times a week for practice.

I guarantee KU (and Washburn) students from St. Louis, Minnesota, Chicago and Colorado would bring their hockey gear with them and fill up drop-in times and form a KU Intramural league.

I guarantee adult players all over the KC area would be willing to drive to Lawrence for their weekly game.

This would be a WONDERFUL addition to the area and the type of grassroots growth that hockey needs (and NHL21 should be fully behind) to show that the KC area could be a hockey town.

This must happen.

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