With Dallas native Austin Smith making his professional hockey debut during the 2011-2012 Texas Stars season, it was suddenly feasible for players to make the big time in a non traditional hockey venue. Dallas has developed many ice rinks over the years and their efforts have shown. In comparison, Austin only has one sheet of ice. However there have been developments that are helping to alleviate the lack of ice problem. It was recently announced that a 2/3 ice rink called The Pond Hockey Club would open in fall 2012. In addition, the Texas Stars announced that they have entered into a partnership with Chaparral Ice to share the space at the Cedar Park Center. You can read the release here:
Cedar Park, TX – The Texas Stars and Chaparral Ice announced on Thursday that they have entered into a partnership to maximize the availability of full-sheet ice at Cedar Park Center and Chaparral Ice’s location at Northcross at West Anderson lane. The partnership also covers the continued development of the Texas Junior Stars program through Chaparral Ice’s youth travel teams.
“With only one full-time, full-sheet of ice available in the Greater Austin area, we felt it was imperative to coordinate our efforts with Chaparral Ice to maximize the amount of ice available for not just youth and adult hockey, but also all ice sports,” stated Texas Stars President Rick McLaughlin. “Additionally, through our agreement with Chaparral Ice, we anticipate the Texas Junior Stars program will continue to grow and thrive.”
The agreement covers the managed scheduling of ice time at Cedar Park Center by Chaparral Ice to enable full hockey league activities in the Austin area. In addition, Chaparral Ice is the home of the Texas Junior Stars program.
Chaparral Ice is a family-owned business that is home to approximately 20 youth teams, from recreation through high school to competition/travel hockey teams, with over 250 boys and girls ranging from ages four to 18. The facility is also home to over 400 adult league participants across 8 leagues. In addition to year-round hockey, Chaparral Ice is home to the Austin Figure Skating Club, Stars of Austin Synchro Team, Capital of Texas Figure Skating Club and the Lonestar Curling Club. The facility is also available for public skating, corporate events, broomball, and hosts year-round skating and hockey classes.
“Chaparral Ice is excited about our new relationship with the Texas Stars and Cedar Park Center,” said Angie Vaught, General Manager of Chaparral Ice Center. “This relationship will allow us to offer additional programs and ice time not only to our current players and skaters, but to the growing skating community in Central Texas as well. We will be able to meet the needs of all our programs for the 2012-13 season, and we look forward to the opportunity to expand the presence of ice sports in the Cedar Park/Leander area. We feel our partnership with the Texas Stars and Cedar Park Center will be vital to the growth of hockey and figure skating in the greater Austin area.”
For more information about Chaparral Ice visit the official website at www.ChaparralIce.com.
With 2 full sheets of ice available and another one under development, perhaps Austin can become a competitive hockey market like Dallas. One day, hopefully soon, we might be able to see a native Austinite make their own debut with a professional hockey club, just like Austin Smith. This was a good move for the Texas Stars, as it shows their willingness and encouragement in the arena of developing younger players to chase their hockey dreams.