Sioux Falls, SD
A highly anticipated Sioux Falls community ice facility will be named the Scheels IcePlex, after a substantial donation from the sports store on Thursday.
Scheels donated $750,000 toward the new multi-rink ice facility set to be built at the Sanford Sports Complex.
Ice Sports Association (ISA) organizers are raising an estimated $7.7 million so the facility will be paid in full by the time it opens in the fall of 2014.
"It's just an awesome partnership," ISA President Joe Zueger said. "And the fact that the rink has an identity is a defining moment."
"Really a good feeling that we are making a difference," Sioux Falls Store Leader Chris Kray said. "The people that are supporting us, we're able to support the community back."
The Scheels donation becomes part of the ISA's multi-faceted fundraising plan to construct the first phase of the ice complex with three sheets of ice.
The year-round facility will become the home of several groups, including the Sioux Falls Youth Hockey Association and the Sioux Falls Figure Skating Club.
"It means that we are going to be one step forward to having our home rink right here and not traveling away just to practice," Sioux Falls Figure Skating Club Board President Debbie Geddes said.
The announcement comes on the heels of an action by the Sioux Falls City Council to give $1.5 million of their budget to the facility next year.
"This is a really significant milestone and starting 20 months ago with a bank account of zero and working very hard to get to a bank account of $5 million is great, but it's not the finish line," Zueger said.
The facility is approved for the Chamber Community Appeal for just over $1.5 million. The ISA will begin soliciting the business community in November.