City Council to discuss future of ice rink management

Painters work on Ice Station Valencia building on Wednesday, 011320. Dan Watson/The Signal

The city is preparing to take its next step for reopening the ice rink in Valencia: Who will manage the 93,000-square-foot facility on Smyth Drive? 

Of six companies considered, some of which were from out of state, the Santa Clarita City Council is set Tuesday to consider the American Sports Entertainment Co., which is considered the largest independent operator of ice rinks in the nation and partners with the Los Angeles Kings, according to a city agenda report. 

Council members will look at possibly awarding a five-year contract to both in amounts ranging from $288,000 to $2.12 million through 2026. If approved, the company and L.A. Kings will serve as a manager of the facility, according to Frank Oviedo, assistant city manager of Santa Clarita.

“The day-to-day operations of the ice facility would be run by the (American Sports Entertainment Company/L.A.Kings),” he said Friday. “Anything ice-related, whether it’s scheduling ice rentals, speed skating, etc., that will all be handled exclusively by them.” 

More closely, the proposed operator contract, as summarized via the agenda report, details that the company/Kings would provide everything from staffing to equipment, routine maintenance and repairs of the ice facility. Programming, as Oviedo mentioned, would also fall under the operator, including public skating, seasonal camps and youth and adult hockey leagues. 

The operator will also take care of hiring vendors for the facility’s cafe and pro shop, as well as be responsible for COVID-19 protocols and compliance. Meeting rooms and other rooms that are not directly connected to the ice rink, as well as landscaping and capital improvements over $5,000, will be handled by the city, according to the report. 

The city will pay the operator and the contract is structured to have an annual incentive management fee of 10% of revenue greater than $2.5 million per year, according to the report. 

“Once that threshold is met, (the city will) share 10%,” said Oviedo. 

In January, the assistant city manager shared updates on several improvements already underway at the facility, including paint, lighting and internet connectivity upgrades. Changes come after the city acquired the ice rink back in August for $14.49 million. 

City officials don’t yet have a definitive reopening date, noting it all depends on the COVID-19 health-related orders from Los Angeles County for when people will be allowed to congregate indoors once again. 

The City Council meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Tuesday and the public can tune in by visiting 

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