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Castlegar Rebels consider options during rink closure

The president of the Castlegar Rebels says he’s not sure yet where they will be playing for parts of two seasons while a new floor is put in their arena.

Last week, the Regional District of Central Kootenay announced the current floor, which is leaking brine, will be replaced at a cost of $1.6 million. The project is expected to take from March to September 2023 to complete, which will affect parts of two KIJHL seasons.

Team president Mike Johnstone says the work needs to be done, but they and other user groups only found out about it at an annual meeting of those groups last week, one day prior to the public announcement.

Although they will be able to play most of the 2022-23 season, the tail end may be disrupted.

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“It could leave us without a home for our playoff games,” he says. “We’re at the point where we’re looking for other opportunities to play some playoff games in Trail, Rossland, Beaver Valley. We’re unsure at this point.”

As for the following season, Johnstone is just hopeful that the project is completed within the six month window the RDCK is predicting.

“If that’s the case, our preseason and training camp won’t be affected too greatly, but if it is delayed and goes a little longer, that could be a significant issue for the start of our season.”

But the Rebels won’t feel the brunt of the closure as acutely as West Kootenay minor lacrosse, whose entire season will take place during the time the work is scheduled.

We have also left messages for the Castlegar Minor Hockey Association and the Castlegar Skating Club.

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