Michigan ice arenas push to reopen amid coronavirus pandemic

Hockey players, figure skaters need ice time to stay in the game

The rinks believe they have the appropriate plans in place to safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The rinks believe they have the appropriate plans in place to safely reopen amid the coronavirus pandemic.

MOUNT CLEMENS, Mich. – There are plenty of people who rely on ice arenas for work or training in Michigan.

Inside Mount Clemens Ice Arena there’s not much to see -- no hockey games, no ice shows, and no practices. But the operators are most bothered because they’re not even allowed to have private lessons amid the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan right now. There is no on-ice training allowed at many of the rinks.

Related: Ann Arbor ice arena, skating teams fight for reclassification

Management at the Mount Clemens rink wants to be allowed to offer ice time to those who need the training. They believe they can do that safely.

U.S. Figure skating and USA Hockey have decided they’re running their season because 45 states are open. That means Michigan skaters could be passed up.

Hockey players point out the sport is not like basketball or football where everybody is touching the same ball. The only two people on the ice that are touching the puck with their bare hands are the officials.

Some rinks have now closed permanently because they couldn’t afford to stay open. Meanwhile, families are going all over the country to train and compete.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office has not responded to a request for comment.


About the Author:

Nick joined the Local 4 team in February of 2015. Prior to that he spent 6 years in Sacramento covering a long list of big stories including wildfires and earthquakes. Raised in Sterling Heights, he is no stranger to the deep history and pride Detroit has to offer.