Archived Story

Arena seats changed for comfort

Published 11:14am Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Spectators at Fergus Falls’ new community ice arena might be able to sit a little easier after a change order approved by the city council on Monday.

The council approved a change order that will install nine rows of spectator seats in the main viewing area instead of 10, allowing for backrests to be installed on the seats later if an interested group raises the money. The cost of changing the plan will be offset by some cost-saving change orders, City Engineer Dan Edwards told the council.

“Right now we have just bench seating,” Edwards explained, and once the concrete for the seating is poured for a 10-row configuration, backrests would never be able to be installed. The backrest configuration was considered during the planning phase of the project but was scrapped amid cost and capacity concerns.

“What’s happened since then is through some change orders and additional fundraising, we’ve added on the expanded heated observation area on the west end of the rink,” Edwards explained. “This expanded area has allowed for additional bleacher seating, and that additional seating would offset the loss of one row of seating in the general stand area.”

Though losing the 10th row loses about 100 seats, Edwards said that the approximately 140 new seats in the observation area will make up for the loss. The extra 40 seats also brings the rink’s capacity up to approximately 1,150 spectators, right around what the Fairgrounds Ice Arena has. However, the fairgrounds rink has more seating capacity, while the new arena will have more standing room.

Edwards also reported that work has been coming along well, with workers finding alternate ways to continue work on rainy days. Though he said at the beginning of June that work is about a week behind schedule, Edwards said that it is now hard to estimate exactly where the project is on schedule, but he believes it’s close enough to its goal that it will open before the fall hockey season.

“We’re still planning to meet the construction budget,” he said.

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  • papergirl

    question…does the “new” gym at the “new” Kennedy school have seats with back rests for basketball/volley ball games? If not why are they so needed at the ice arena?

  • Sports Guy

    answer….Yes , they do have back rests for the seats at the Kennedy school. They are needed at the new hockey arena, also.

    • dbjorgum

      Way to go Jerry, maybe these people need to vist the gym and ice arena and watch our kids before they make there coments. It will be a pleasure to watch the skating show and hockey games, in a new arena, just as it is nice to watch events in the new gym. Which was paid for by everyone in the school district, with no fund raising to help offset costs.

  • P. Carlson

    How did we all survive growing up using bleachers with no back rests? This whole new school and new ice palace are just about the shadiest use of tax dollars I have ever seen. How many more change orders are still being hushed up but will surface before everything is said and done? I question the legality of all those closed sessions where these things seem to come from at strategic times. We could have redone the old arena at the fair grounds for a fraction of what theuy are spending. Nothing is too good for those who hold the purse strings lately.

  • ackerjohnson

    Nothing is too good for the children of the country club crowd. How else are they to appreciate the vagaries and vicissitudes of childhood unless the entire community shells out a fortune to cater to their every whim. Important also is the ability of parents to relive their lackluster lives through the sports activates of their future little professional sports stars. When some day they can stand beside a sports reporter with a microphone in his face and tell the world how he came up the hard way. How sometime he had to wait a whole five minutes for his mommy to show up with the minivan to take him home from practice. Or how in his youth the Ice Palace concession stand was only open during and after games. And how sometimes the air-conditioning stopped working and they had to play in a sweltering 76 degrees. And then as tears well up in his eyes he describes the heartbreak of his dear sainted mother sitting on a bleacher with only an unpadded back rest.

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