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July 12, 2018 - 12:40pm

City applying for grant to see if its worth expanding Falleti Ice Arena to attract more sporting events

posted by Howard B. Owens in Falleti Ice Arena, batavia, news, notify.

The City of Batavia will file an application with the State of New York to fund a feasibility study on the possible expansion of the Falleti Ice Arena. 

The study will look at expanding the size of the building to add a second ice rink and possibly a field house suitable for indoor soccer, lacrosse, flag football and other indoor sports.

The study will look beyond just what Genesee County will support but whether an expanded facility can bring in more tournaments and attract sports tourist dollars from throughout the region, including Rochester and Buffalo, said Interim City Manager Matt Worth.

"That's probably the key as much as anything," Worth said, "to capture a tournament that would draw from both of those cities and be convenient. Absolutely that will probably be the key to it."

The impetus for the grant request came from parents involved in hockey at Falleti.

"The hockey parents there they are organized and are very interested in expanding that," Worth said. "Nowadays, virtually all these ice rinks are built with two sheets of ice. It's the most economical way to do it. Usually, for tournaments, things like that, it's ideally at least two sheets of ice."

The grant would come through the state's portion of Community Development Block Grant funding and a feasibility study would cost from $30,000 to $50,000.

The study would look at the demographics of the region, the need, the opportunity, the viability of an expanded facility and what, if any, economic impact it might have on Batavia. The study would also help determine the anticipated cost of expansion and how it might be funded.

The City Council approved an application for the grant at its meeting Monday night.

"The planning grant is to determine the feasibility of adding an additional sheet of ice to the ice rink as well as the possibility of a field house, which would be basically an indoor turfed area that would be available for indoor soccer, lacrosse, flag football, things of that nature, to see if the community in the sporting area, if there's enough interest, enough economics to support that type of investment," Worth said.

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