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Ice to take over operations at Pan Am skating facility

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The Indiana Ice will use the Pan Am Plaza skating facility as a training center and venue for games after renovations to the downtown pavilion are completed this summer.

Pan Am Sports Inc., a group affiliated with the Ice, has signed an interim management agreement for the skating facility with owner Kite Realty Group Trust, according to an announcement from the team Friday afternoon. The facility will remain available for public use.

IBJ reported Friday morning that the Ice, an amateur hockey team that plays in the United States Hockey League, likely would continue training and playing matches in the facility after a renovation.

The immediate fate of the two-rink facility was thrown into question on Wednesday when the Indiana World Skating Academy announced that it would vacate the building’s ice rinks this month and begin searching for a new location. IWSA operated the facility for Kite.

Skating academy officials said “growing financial obligations” and the property owner’s long-term plan to redevelop the Pan Am block led to the decision.

Kite spokesman Adam Basch confirmed Friday that the Ice would manage the Pan Am Plaza skating facility under the new agreement. He declined to reveal the exact terms.

The full-block plaza is located on the southwest corner of Georgia and Illinois streets, and the skating rinks occupy the northeast corner. Kite owns the property, and company officials hope to eventually build a large mixed-use project on the property that could include a high-rise hotel, restaurants, and retail and residential space, Basch said. The timetable for such a project is uncertain.

Jason Burkman, vice president of the Indiana Ice, said Friday that the skating facility would close for renovations soon after the team’s season ended on April 14, and then reopen sometime this summer. Public skating and ice-related sports for non-hockey users will be available, he said.

However, Burkman referred questions about the pending renovation and the role of Pan Am Sports in the facility’s management to team owner Paul Skjodt, who was out of the country and unavailable until next week.

Until this season, the Ice had played most of its home games at the Indiana State Fairgrounds coliseum. The team was displaced when work started on a $63 million project to renovate the facility and construct a smaller, 500-seat arena for youth hockey games.

The Ice has split its home games this season between two downtown locations, playing 14 games at Pan Am Plaza and 21 at Bankers Life Fieldhouse. That arrangement will continue into next season, Burkman said.

In addition, the Indiana Junior Ice under-18 and under-16 teams will practice alongside the USHL club at the Pan Am pavilion, Burkman said.

The facility will also contract out to a variety of other Ice user groups as the new management team takes shape over the summer, according to the Ice’s Friday announcement.
 

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  • Other Peoples Money
    Pan am plaza as well as IWSA is unsafe for business. Renovation's, equipment, employees, parking garage, Plaza, and with the building crumbling. Who in their right mind would invest in this money pit? Unless it is going to be torn down and revamped. Years of being badly ran by a corrupt director and board with no money ever going into proper maintenance the facility is in shambles. Greed destroyed this place and a so called Director making 6 figures working part time with no idea on how to market or even do proper business. Making low wage workers pay for parking, did everything possible not to pay over-time, and unsafe working conditions. Along with the nepotism, outrageous salary bonuses, ethic issues, and so much more killed the facility. Do not invest in a renovation of this property unless it is being torn down and built from scratch. So many leaks, mold, old outdated equipment, and so on. Makes this place a money pit.
  • d-Con
    I am not a rat
  • PanAm Ice Not Lost
    Thank you Paul Skjodt for saving these pads. Hockey and skating thrives in Indy.
  • Double Yay!
    The Pan Am Plaza skating facility has been infested with the IWSA band of rats for far too long. The management has existed solely for her own financial enrichment, bilking funds from the Lilly Endowment Trust for way too long. It appears from their 2010 Form 990 tax returns, that gravy train came to an end in 2009 and yet the rink’s manager, titling herself as an Executive Director, still drew a total compensation of $119,467 in 2010 from a business that only had total revenue of $856,939 with expenses of $985,863. Not bad for a registered 501(c)(3) organization! Yes, Indianapolis needs a downtown ice rink. Many top tier cities would die for a facility that Pan Am Plaza use to be before the IWSA band of rats ran it into the ground. I would hope the Kite Realty Group Trust would recognize the attraction of what could once again be a jewel in Indianapolis’ collection of sports venues and integrate the two rinks into any future redevelopment plans. With Paul Skjodt at the helm, that could realistically happen. WARNING to any other ice rink facilities around central Indiana; protect your selves from the potential infestation of the swarm of IWSA rats. The queen rat is still at large…
  • Yay!
    Glad to see the ice rinks remaining at Pan Am, for now. Having the rinks downtown is a great asset for this city. I hope Kite will consider incorporating the rinks into whatever redevelopment they eventually decide upon. Also, good to hear that the rinks will be under new management and that renovations will occur. IWSA didn't spend a dime on the facility in years and it shows.

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