After months of issues, the JMC Ice Arena is officially closed for the season.
The rink was originally supposed to open on September 18.
According to Erie Zoo and JMC director Scott Mitchell, issues with coolant leakage and clogged pipes have prevented two spots of the ice from freezing.
"We've just come across too many problems that we've not been able to fix,” said Mitchell. “It's disappointing for us, it's disappointing for the ice community obviously as well, but we sure put a lot of effort into it."
With the ice system now shot, Mitchell says the rink is in need of a full renovation, which would cost an estimated $2 million.
“This system is quite old,” said Mitchell. “It would need a new pad, new boards, a new ceiling, and new compressors. It’s a big undertaking.”
Erie Sports Commission events director Mark Jeanneret says the rink closure only adds to the growing ice crunch in Erie.
"These issues that have been going on since the beginning of the year, as far as the lack of ice,” said Jeanneret. “I think it’s not good for hockey or skating events in general.”
With the Greater Erie Area Team Training planning to build a dual-pad ice rink at Family First Sports Park, Jeanneret says the need for additional ice is tremendous.
"It will address the urgency of ice in Erie,” said Jeanneret. “Secondarily, it opens up a whole new opportunity for us as a sports commission, to try to attract hockey tournaments to town."
In the meantime, the possibility of JMC opening once again, remains uncertain.
“Our first priority, would be to be an ice rink,” said Mitchell. “But, we have to consider all of the alternatives and other options.”