Ice, ice baby

THE $40 million multi-purpose Playford Arena has been given the green light after the State Government approved a $10 million loan that will see the facility be built in the heart of Elizabeth later this year.

The arena was announced, on Monday, as the government’s preferred option in its expression of interest process for an ice sports facility in South Australia.

The multi-purpose ice sports, entertainment, function centre and rock-climbing facility will be the largest of its kind in the southern hemisphere and form an integral part of Playford Council’s northern central business district (CBD) project.

Developer Ice Rinks Adelaide had already made its financial commitment to construct the facility, but was seeking a loan from the State Government to make the concept a reality.

“This project shows confidence in our community, underpins the proposed hotel and cements the Elizabeth CBD as a central location for business, sport and recreation in Playford,” Playford Mayor Glenn Docherty said.

“It shows that private investor dollars are on the table and developers are willing to invest in our community.

“The facility will be the second-largest indoor entertainment arena in Adelaide, providing another location for major events, conferences and concerts.”

The construction of the facility will come at no cost to Playford ratepayers and features two Olympic-sized ice rinks, international competition standard rock-climbing walls, bars and restaurants, and will have a maximum concert capacity of up to 4000 people.

Ice Rinks Adelaide director Stephen Campbell said national and international sporting governing bodies were consulted during the design phase of the project.

“This will enable the Playford Arena to host World Championships in ice sports including ice hockey, figure skating and broomball, and the new Olympic sport of rock climbing,” he said.

Recreation and Sport Minister Leon Bignell said the announcement comes on the eve of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, and that the facility will serve as the entertainment hub of the north.

“The Playford Ice Arena will have many benefits for South Australia – creating new jobs, increasing sport participation rates and creating a recreation and entertainment hub for the local community,” he said.

The developer has also allocated $130,000 a year towards social-inclusion activities, personal development, and career pathway opportunities for at-risk students in the local region.

Around 340 jobs will be created during the construction phase, with between 140 and 160 ongoing jobs upon completion.

Construction for the Playford Arena is expected to start in mid-2018, with the facility expected to be open to the public in late 2019.

Tom Staggard

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Born and raised in Adelaide's northern suburbs, Tom attended Tyndale Christian School in Salisbury East before studying journalism at the University of South Australia. Tom joined The Bunyip in June 2017 after previously working in the Adelaide Hills for The Courier newspaper in Mount Barker and the Weekender Herald in Crafers. As part of his role, Tom will cover the Adelaide Plains and Playford council regions. Away from work, he is a massive sports fan and loves all things football, cricket, basketball and soccer.

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