By Jared Kofsky
When most Newarkers think of an ice rink in their city, the Prudential Center comes to mind. Built in 2007, the arena in Downtown Newark is home to the New Jersey Devils hockey team and is among the only venues of its kind that is currently in operation in New Jersey.
However, the state’s largest city is home to another rink that is less than two miles away from the Prudential Center. Located at 226 Rome Street, the Ironbound Ice Rink is housed within the Newark Department of Recreation, Cultural Affairs & Senior Services’ Ironbound Recreation Center. Yet although the public rink was given $500,000 worth of improvements in 2012, the aging facility has been frequently closed in recent years. Now, according to a resolution from the Newark Municipal Council, there are plans to bring it back to life.
Devils Renaissance Development, LLC, a subsidiary of the Devils team, is partnering with the city to help complete a $5,432,401 renovation of the rink. The cost, which covers “the design, renovation, construction and overall improvement of the Ironbound Ice Rink,” was estimated by the Devils, but it is not listed in the resolution how much of the project will be funded by the team and how much will be paid for by the city.
What is stated is that the city has appropriated $5,482,469.91 worth of funding for the project and that Mayor Ras Baraka and Newark’s business administrator “have determined that it is in the best interests of the City to allocate funding to further the improvements to the Ironbound Ice Rink.” An agreement was reportedly signed between the Devils and City Hall that gives the city the authorization to reimburse the Devils using revenue from the rink for costs related to programming. The team could possibly “brand the inside” of the facility as part of the deal as well.
The resolution was adopted back on May 4 and work could be completed as soon as the fourth quarter of this year, according to RinkAtlas.