Ice, ice baby!
By Bryan Goodland; graphic courtesy of DAWG Nation
In October 2020, the City of Castle Pines may potentially become home to a new multi rink ice arena. The facility is a partnership between the City and a local nonprofit called DAWG Nation Hockey Foundation (DAWG Nation).
Martin Richardson, the CEO of DAWG Nation, met with Castle Pines leaders to discuss available land. Richardson said, “We had lots of land being offered to us, but none of them felt right.” After discussing the project with City staff, Richardson decided that Castle Pines was the best location for his facility. The City signed a letter of intent with the organization, but DAWG Nation will be responsible to raise the construction funds. The City will make 10 acres of land available to the organization if the funds are raised to complete the project.
DAWG Nation is a local 501(c)(3) that believes in the power of ice hockey to “give persons with and without disabilities the opportunity to gain independence and confidence through playing ice hockey and … to help amateur ice hockey players and their families in times of need.” The organization started out as a small group of guys getting together to play hockey. After some of the team members took ill, it morphed into a group that helped each other in times of need. Later, after a member of the group passed away, Richardson decided they could do more and began to plan for an all-access facility.
Richardson said, “There are rinks that are accessible to the disabled, but I want to make the entire facility – locker rooms, restaurant and ice accessible to able bodied and disabled people alike.”
The facility would be located east of I -25 and would have three separate sheets of ice or rinks for players to use. The rinks will be open to youth hockey players up through adult league play. Richardson explained that it would also be made for sled hockey, which would allow disabled players to participate in the game as well. The facility will also have figure skating and open skating for the public.
To achieve the funding needed for the complex, Richardson has begun speaking to various companies and individuals in hopes of raising the money. He has also created a board for his company that includes former Colorado Avalanche players Milan Hejduk and Jan Hejda, as well as Peter McNab, a former NHL player and color commentator for the Colorado Avalanche. In addition, several construction firms have agreed to help, including Saunders Construction, MOA Architecture, MTech Engineering, Martin/Martin Consulting and Lallier Construction.
In regard to the building of the ice rink, Castle Pines Mayor Tera Radloff said, “We saw an opportunity to partner with the nonprofit and contribute to bringing entertainment options to our residents, uniting our neighboring community through sports and investing in our city.” The intent of the land partnership, according to City staff, is to continue to attract sustainable options that add value to the growing community, its residents and neighbors all along the Front Range. A town hall meeting is scheduled for December 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Douglas County Libraries – Castle Pines to discuss the ice rink.
In addition to building the hockey complex, DAWG Nation has donated over $1,600,000 to more than 120 families. To learn more, visit https://rink.dawgnation.org/#top.
For more information on DAWG Nation, visit www.dawgnationhockey.org.