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Indiana Ice plan to build $12 million hockey facility

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Ice Sports and Entertainment, the owner of the Indiana Ice hockey team, announced Wednesday afternoon that it plans to build a complex that could contain up to four skating rinks and house the Indiana/World Skating Academy.

Ice President and CEO Paul Skjodt said confidentiality agreements bar him from disclosing the location at this time, but he maintained that private investors are in place to fund the estimated $12 million price tag.

“As far as the location is concerned, there are a lot of factors involved,” Skjodt said.

The IWSA, located at Pan Am Plaza in downtown Indianapolis, has been searching for a new home since locally based Kite Realty Group Trust partnered in April 2008 with California-based Coastal Partners LLC to purchase the plaza from Indiana Sports Corp. The real estate companies plan to eventually redevelop the property.

IWSA Executive Director Pam Robinson confirmed that several locations are being considered for the new facility, although her organization in the past has endorsed property on the Indiana State Fairgrounds. The Ice play at the fairgrounds’ Pepsi Coliseum.

“[Skjodt] and I have been talking over the last 12 years about a partnership between his and our programs,” she said. “Our missions are the same. It’s just a natural relationship.”

In a recent IWSA annual report, the organization said a location at the State Fairgrounds would “enable IWSA to offer housing at the renovated 4-H dormitories on site while still taking advantage of downtown hotel space.”
 
Construction on the first phase of the proposed facility is set to start in the spring and could be finished in a year. It would include two National Hockey League-size rinks and approximately 1,500 seats. Two additional rinks could be built, with space for a catering kitchen to host events such as parties, graduations and wedding receptions.

In addition, the complex would serve as the Ice’s training facility.

Pent-up demand for more hockey rinks prompted the decision to move forward on the project, Skjodt said. By hosting amateur hockey programs, camps and tournaments, he thinks he can bring an additional $1 million in annual revenue to team operations.

“We’ve got some high school teams that are skating at 5 in the morning before they go to class,” Skjodt said. “We’re at a critical stage for both figure skating and youth hockey in this city.”

Indeed, the loss of the ice rink at Ellenberger Park leaves only six-full time rinks in the metropolitan area. And two of those will be gone if the redevelopment of Pan Am Plaza comes to fruition. The office building contains two rinks—one at street level and one below.

“If we’re trying to attract international employees, people who come from Canada and Europe, they want something that’s familiar to them,” Robinson said.

Having ice rinks open year-round is critical to figure skating team-training schedules, Robinson said. A couple from France attempting to make the country’s Olympic team is currently training at Pan Am Plaza, she said.

The Indiana Ice play in the U.S. Hockey League, a junior amateur league. Plans for the new facility will be formally announced at the USHL All-Star VIP dinner Jan. 25 in Indianapolis.
 
 

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  • ONB Rob Tolle
    I read your comments on the fraud former VP Rob Tolle committed. I was wondering where you got your information on this subject. I just heard the FBI got ahold of him and he is now headed to prison for fraud.
  • Foreclosed
    Kojak- The article you link does not state that Mr. Skjodt or his company was not responsible. In fact it states the collateral (property on 37) was able to be taken if the loan failed. Here is a quote from IBJ on the matter.

    "But Old National Bank recently foreclosed on half of the 104-acre site and is set to sell the parcel along 131st Street on the propertyâ??s south side at auction on Oct. 22.

    Indianapolis developer Skjodt Thomas & Associates, which purchased the former golf course property and sold 57 acres to Puller Group, owns the tract that has been foreclosed upon."

    This quote clearly states that Mr. Skjodt's company was forclosed on in October 2009. His company had every opportunity to maintain the property and make good on the loan from ONB.
    I don't have a dog in the hunt other than the ethical obligation to not allow a developer to make money with this development on public grounds when it was just foreclosed on another project.

  • Read For Yourself
    You can google this yourself if it doesn't come through in this medium. This is what I found...

    http://www.ibj.com/article?articleId=9685
  • Do the Facts Matter?
    Get your facts right before you pass judgement- The ONB loan was not to Skjodt's company, it was with the original developer. Former ONB V.P Rob Tolle committed fraud and embezzlement with both developers and ONB. When it was discovered, the development shut down. The state fair deal is with the IWSA, not the hockey team. Kojak
    • Ice rink
      I know this project has been floated to Fishers, Carmel, and Noblesville in the last 4 years. Not sure of the details, but I don't think any of those communities thought it was worth the investment. Paul Skjodt should be required to pay back Old National for the foreclosed property on SR 37 before he should be allowed to invest anything on the public State Fair grounds property.

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