Extreme Team work continues on Eagles Ice-A-Rena
SPOKANE, Wash. — The Eagles Ice-A-Rena in Spokane is a beloved place for skaters around the region, but it was in need of a major transformation.
KXLY 4’s Mark Peterson and the Extreme Team have been working on upgrading the arena. Volunteers spend the day Tuesday building a new seating area in the arena’s lobby. There will be two bleacher-like seats in front of the windows so parents and fans can watch the ice.
Volunteers also painted eight locker rooms. They’ll install benches and shelving units once the walls are dry. While it’s a lot of hard work, volunteers say the arena is important to the Spokane community.
“It’s a way that we, after we’ve been playing hockey here for many, many years, can give back to the community in hopes of staying a good program that will endeavor and evolve over the years, William Barry Holmes, Spokane Old Timers Hockey Association, said.
“People in Spokane don’t realize how unique this facility is. I have friends that I played with and against for years and [when] they come through town they say, ‘My gosh, you have things here that we don’t even hope to have in the bigger cities,” Dwight Carruthers, a volunteer, said.
While work is well underway to make the building look new, one Spokane resident remembers when the arena was built nearly 45 years ago.
“I believe they broke ground in 1973 and the grand opening was in 1974,” Robin Briley, Spokane, said.
Briley comes from a family of skaters and hockey players.
“My dad became president of the figure skating club and we had a difficult time trying to get enough ice time in the mid, late 60s,” she said.
Briley’s dad, longtime Spokane broadcaster Bob Briley, had the idea to build an arena specifically for figure skating and hockey.
“My dad was instrumental in trying to raise funds to get it off the ground,” Briley said.
She was a senior in high school when the arena opened. Her kids learned to skate on this ice. Her daughter, Kristen, had been a professional figure skater for a decade, skating in productions like Disney on Ice.
“The arena has been, for the past four and a half decades, and continues to be really important for kids, adults, anyone who wants to learn to skate,” Briley said.
The Eagles Ice-A-Rena’s big reveal is Thursday.
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