Grand opening slated for Feb. 21
HEIGHTS – The Canfield Ice Arena, a long-time staple in the city’s recreation program, underwent a transformation that culminated in its conversion to an in-line skating and hockey facility.
To commemorate the conversion, a “get acquainted” grand opening celebration has been planned for the public at noon Feb. 21 at the arena — now known as the Canfield Alkali Arena — 2100 Kinloch.
The arena’s conversion to an in-line facility from a traditional ice rink came as a result of its recent decline in activity and eventual closing last year. In late 2014, Motor City Chiefs Junior A ice hockey club President Gerry Lullove negotiated a lease agreement with the city which allowed for its conversion to an in-line skating facility, along with other extensive renovations by Lullove.
The Chiefs have called the arena home for more than 20 years and also has “re-focused” its format to include in-line hockey.
To gain additional support for the venture, the Chiefs organization negotiated an agreement for the arena’s naming rights with in-line equipment manufacturer Alkali. While Alkali now holds a place in the arena’s name, Lullove was also firm in his conviction to maintain respect for the arena’s history.
“The arena has always been known as the Canfield Ice Arena” he said. “I felt strongly that out of respect for the community and those who played such an important role in the facility’s operation, we needed to maintain the Canfield name. That’s why it is now known as the Canfield Alkali Arena”
With its transformation to an in-line skating and hockey facility, the arena is enjoying a renewed sense of interest and participation. It is now a licensed Amateur Athletic Union facility, as well as “home ice” for the in-line Motor City Hockey Club, which will play in the Professional American In-line Hockey League as one of four league teams playing there.
The arena is now affiliated with the Great Lakes In-line Hockey League, is a licensed facility of the USA Roller Sports Association, and a Team USA World Team facility. In addition, the University of Michigan’s and Eastern Michigan University’s in-line hockey teams, as well as the Detroit Mission Stars in-line hockey team will also use the arena as their home arena.
Lullove also confirmed that the arena also will feature several adult and youth in-line teams, leagues and lessons for capabilities of all levels. All of these will be sanctioned by the AAU. The arena will also host regularly-scheduled dates and times for drop-in in-line hockey, as well as open in-line or roller skating for the public.
Lullove also emphasizes that the facility also is available for a variety of non- sporting events.
“Our arena is an excellent candidate for any activity that calls for a large open indoor space” he said. “We are already hosting a school-wide group testing session for one of our high schools, where their limited space made it difficult to conduct testing for more than 200 students at once.
“With no ice to contend with, our ‘ready to go’ arena floor is a perfect solution for hosting large groups, to photo or filming of large subject such as cars and trucks, or anything else that requires a large indoor location.”
For more information, call Lullove at 313-436-5855.