Figure Skaters Could Lose Weekend Ice If Privateers Move To Watertown
The Thousand Islands Privateers and the Watertown City Council are talking and that has members of the Watertown Figure Skating Club worried.
With their old arena, the Bonnie Castle Recreation Center looking at an uncertain future, the Privateers are considering calling the Watertown fairgrounds arena home.
The skating club is worried because the team plays mostly on weekends.
"A lot of parents are just like any working family, they can only get their children to the rink at certain times," said Wendy Brown, a parent of a skater.
"And if you take away any of our ice time, shame on you, if they do that, because these kids work very very hard and they're not second class to anybody," Brown said.
City officials say a deal to bring in the Privateers isn't done and the arena remains open for all.
"There's no expectation that anyone should have that they should have exclusive rights to anything at anytime they want," said Mayor Jeff Graham.
With the uncertainty of future ice times, some members of the skating club say they may have to look to other towns to skate in.
"We would have to find other ice that could accommodate our time," said Dawn Sweeney.
"I know there is ice in Clayton and also there's ice here in Alex Bay. Then what do they do if the Privateers don't pan out and they've lost the income from them clubs?"
Officials say if arenas in big cities can accommodate multiple users, Watertown can make it work.
"Metropolitan areas, when there's arenas, the hours of operation are spread out as fairly as possible," Graham said.
Privateers owner Nicole Kirnan says she hopes to hear from the city within the next week on whether or not pro hockey is officially coming to the fairgrounds.
Saturday, May 25, 2013, Watertown, NY
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