Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Report: Canucks looking to renovate existing arena for new practice facility
By Mike Gould2 months ago
The Vancouver Canucks have shifted their focus on the practice facility front toward renovating an existing arena instead of building a new one, The Province‘s Patrick Johnston reported Tuesday.
The Canucks’ search for a permanent practice facility has been a long-running saga in the Vancouver sports scene dating back more than a decade, and we have yet to hear about any concrete plans.
But as Canucks president Jim Rutherford, who joined the organization in December 2021, indicated to Johnston, the team has taken a marked shift in its approach to the situation.
“You asked me what I’ve learned since I’ve been here … I learned that there’s no land in Vancouver and if there is, yeah, it’s costly,” Rutherford said. “To sum up your question, I would say we’re trying to use one of the local rinks and build our own needs around the dressing room and the workout — strength and conditioning — facilities. To me, that appears like the best way to do it.”
The Canucks’ search for a dedicated practice facility is motivated by the obvious need for ice when Rogers Arena is unavailable due to another event, whether it be a concert or a lacrosse game, at the facility. Most often, the team has used the facilities at UBC, with increasingly infrequent trips to Burnaby mixed in. But none of that is their space.
As CanucksArmy‘s David Quadrelli reported earlier this year, the Canucks have explored the prospect of constructing a practice facility at Simon Fraser University — the alma mater of Canucks owner Francesco Aquilini — but it, much like Scotia Barn, is pretty remote for most of the team’s players.
“Francesco is totally on board as to getting a practice rink, however we do that,” Rutherford said. “And there has been some options of parcels of land where we could possibly build one. But then it really doesn’t go anywhere. So I do know that we’re going to be able to figure out how to take a local rink and build what our needs are onto that.
“I feel pretty confident that by the end of the season, we’ll have figured out where we’re going to go, and then how long it will take to build what we need to build. I don’t know how long that takes,” he added.
Through 29 games in the 2023–24 regular season, the Canucks currently rank second in the Pacific Division with a 19–9–1 record and 39 points. They’ll return to action on Thursday to take on the Florida Panthers at Rogers Arena.
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