Park Board likely to buy struggling Edison hockey arena

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Minneapolis Park Board officials have agreed in principle to acquire the cash-strapped Edison Civic Arena from the city.

Under the terms of the proposed sale, the Park Board would pay the city $710,000 for the facility at 1306 Central Avenue NE and manage it as part of its normal operations. The sale would allow the city to retire the bonds it issued to build the arena a decade ago and give the Park Board a second indoor ice arena to ease the pressure on the heavily used Parade arena.

The city also hopes to recoup the $187,000 in delinquent lease payments owed by the Edison Youth Hockey Association, which has been managing the facility since it opened. City finance director Patrick Born said the debt could be erased through a profit-sharing agreement with the Park Board.

“Having the Park Board run this is a much better arrangement than have the neighborhood association run it,” Born told members of the City Council’s Ways and Means Committee on Monday. “It’s simply a much better management arrangement.”

Park Board Superintendent Jon Gurban called the deal “an exciting opportunity” and a chance to give youth hockey “a boost in the city.” He explained that the Edison facility will be used for surplus ice time now reserved at Parade Arena and could also be adapted for indoor soccer in the winter.

“We’re very encouraged,” Gurban said. “And I’m confident our board will feel the same way.”

The Ways and Means Committee approved the deal on a 6-0 vote. Park Board commissioners will take up the matter at its Wednesday meeting.

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