Icerink opens in Prague 10

The first new ice stadium since 15 years was built without subsidies

A new ice stadium called Icerink officially opened in Prague 10 yesterday, a year after construction started.

The rink with two halls was built on Přetlucká Street by a private investor. It is intended both for the public and for training for figure skating and ice hockey.

The stadium is the first new one in 15 years and it will join eight others in the city. The structure was financed by privately run Padok Investments and according to previous reports cost some Kč 170 million. No public funds or grants were used.

The project was built relatively quickly, from concept to opening, but is state of the art. Investors expect a return in 10 years.

The stadium has two ice rinks measuring 28 by 56 meters and is located between the ZŠ Olešská elementary school and the Jižní spojka highway about 700 meters from the Skalka metro shop. Besides two ice surfaces, the stadium has a bistro with a healthy diet and a fitness area with weights.

The opening of the stadium coincides with the anniversary of the Winter Olympics in Nagano, where the Czechs had good success.

“I am glad we opened our new ice stadium just in the days when we commemorate the 20th anniversary of the historical success of Czech ice hockey players in Nagano. We would all like the Icerink project to help with the raising of another Czech talent on a long-term basis,” Petr Novotný, one of the co-owners of the investment company Padok said at the opening.

He added that there was a whole range of programs for schools, the public, and professionals.

The symbolic ambassadors of Icerink are figure skater Tomáš Verner and ice hockey player Martin Holý. Both will be involved in activities at the rink. Verner, a former European Champion will oversee a figure skating club called Akademie Tomáše Vernera. Martin Holý, a former Junior Ice Hockey World Champion, will help to create the new HC Padok hockey team.

Verner said that this approach is used in other countries. “We will do what is common in the Nordic countries or in Canada. Children from the earliest ages grow up and train together. As a result, these countries produce world-class athletes,” Verner said.

But the rinks are also open to people not headed toward a skating career. In cooperation with the Prague 10 district, skating sessions for schools and kindergartens have been arranged.

Families and individuals can also skate in two-hour blocks that are not reserved for training. There are standard admission fees, and skate rental is available.

Before this stadium opened, the last new one was in Letňany. There are more stadiums planned for the city. One currently being built in Jižní Město, another one is planned in Vinoř and a project at Barrandov is under negotiation. The city is considering repairing its hall on Výstaviště or building a new stadium there.

For more information visit www.icerink.cz or www.facebook.com/IceRink.cz

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