Players Worry Potential Closure Of Vacaville Ice Rink Will End Youth Hockey League
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VACAVILLE (CBS13) – Members of a local hockey league are preparing to play in the state championship, but they worry it might be their last.
A zoning change could mean their place to practice at Vacaville Ice Sports on Davis Street is changed, or even worse, closed.
These kids have worked all year long to make the state championship, but now they’re not just shooting to win the competition, but also to keep their rink.
“This is our home. This is where we love to come,” said Skyler Bowers.
The Vacaville Jets Squirt A Division is made up of 9, 10 and 11 year olds. They can’t wait to hit the ice this weekend as they play for the title of becoming the best of the best in the state.
“It’s exciting. I mean we’ve been working hard all year and it’s just a big privilege,” parent Joe Garcia said.
While they’re focused on the game ahead, they’re facing off with an unexpected opponent.
“It would just be devastating. It is heart wrenching to think that’s a possibility,” said Garcia.
The hockey dad is concerned about what the property owner of Vacaville Ice Sports has planned for the space.
On Tuesday, the planning commission will consider rezoning the area for office and retail space. Currently it’s only allowed for recreational use.
Parents say this will open the door to close the rink down, forcing the Vacaville Jets to possibly cancel next season. So the parents and players feel as if they’re in the penalty box.
“Why is this agenda being pushed right now? It makes me think there is some interest in the building,” parent Deb Kopelman said.
“I think it’s a legitimate concern, but at the same time, you know its our understanding that the property owner doesn’t have any plans or any tenants lined up to come in and take this space,” city of Vacaville spokesperson Mark Mazzaferro said.
The city says it’s far from being a done deal, but when we tried to contact the owner, our calls were not returned.
The kids aren’t wasting any time getting their message across, trying to make a power play both on and off the ice.
“Just don’t do it, cause it’s wrong,” player Ryan Kopelman said.
After these players finish the tournament, they will attend the planning commission meeting next week with the goal of making sure this rink is around for years to come.
The championship will be played in San Jose. The tournament starts Friday and goes through Sunday.