CASTLE PINES, Colo. (CBS4) – The Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation has announced plans for a big three sheet ice rink in Castle Pines, hoping to create a facility for able bodied as well as disabled athletes. The rink would go on a plot of several acres donated by the City of Castle Pines just east of Interstate 25 by Castle Pines Parkway.

(credit: Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation)

“They have been fantastic,” said Dawg Nation’s chief marketing officer Aaron Alwell. “We really felt like the location, proximity was great.”

Dawg Nation had been searching for a place to put up a rink with support from partners MOA Architecture, Becker Arena Products and Saunders Construction.

Dawg Nation is hoping to build a facility that will be fully capable of hosting sled hockey without modification and be a home to sled hockey clubs. The design means it would be capable of hosting national and international sled hockey championships.

“The most important part of the this rink is it puts able-bodied and disabled on the same playing field. It levels the playing field of disabled sports,” said Dawg Nation Foundation President Marty Richardson. “The entire facility is going to be designed with everybody in mind. Not just the ice surfaces and benches, but the locker room.”

(credit: Dawg Nation Hockey Foundation)

Richardson says he’d had conversations with blind hockey organizers who asked for some things that seem simple.

“They want a place to put their bags. … They can’t see and they trip over their bags in the locker room.”

They also believe it will connect youth and adult programs in the surrounding communities and serve as an anchor to several nearby high school programs.

Saunders estimates the costs at close to $34 million, even with the donated land. Dawg Nation already has $10 million in in-kind donations and pledges. There is support from some big names in Colorado, including former Colorado Avalanche 50 goal scorer Milan Hejduk. The Avalanche currently practice a few miles up the road at Family Sports Arena, near Broncos headquarters. Richardson says he would be happy to have the team along with them.

“We certainly would welcome those conversations,” he said.

Dawg Nation is starting a campaign to raise funds to start construction. They hope to break ground Oct. 1, 2020.

LINK: rink.dawgnation.org

Alan Gionet

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