A Petition to Save Atlantic City Skate Zone
The Atlantic City Skate Zone, located at 501 N. Albany Ave. in Atlantic City, has long been the premier spot for local hockey players to work on their craft.
However, according to a recent petition, the Skate Zone may have to shut its doors by April of this year if a deal doesn't get agreed on soon.
Between the CRDA (which owns the land and the building), the City of Atlantic City and Black Bear Hockey they are unable to come with a plan to keep the Skatezone open for business past March of 2022.
The Skate Zone is home to multiple local teams like the Atlantic City Sharks which fields several travel teams, it hosts both middle and high school teams like Mainland and Egg Harbor Twp, a men's league, and the Stockton University Ice Hockey Team uses the facility.
The facility had an NHL-sized ice sheet, locker room, party rooms, and a snack bar.
All these teams may need to find other ice options in order to finish their season if a deal doe not get done.
Black Bear Hockey, subleased the rink in Sept. of 2020 from Comcast and according to sources, wants to seriously invest in the property and is looking for a long-term deal. They have made a series of offers to the city and CRDA, which have not been approved. Comcast's original leased expired in 2099, and following that they operated on a year-to-year lease, but without a long-term agreement, Black Bear doesn’t want the lease.
Black Bear lists Pennsauken and Mt. Laurel, as the closest options if the Atlantic City Skate Zone were to close.
Per the petition:
The closest rink to Atlantic City is well over an hour away making it hard for the families of the Sharks organization to find another rink should this rink shut down. Many of the boys and girls that play for the Sharks have been with the organization since they were 4 and 5 years old and are now in high school facing the possibility that their beloved rink will close after this years hockey season ends.
However, there are more than just teams using the facility. The building hosts open skates, figure skating, kids parties and other group events.
If the Skate Zone closes, it would become yet another shuttered property on the Bader Field site, with its next-door neighbor, Sandcastle Stadium, mostly used for travel baseball tournaments, Atlantic Cape Community college games, and a few other events in the summer. However, there is no full-time tenant that calls it home.