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Huge Ice Arena Planned for Wake County

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Organizers show off a drawing of the 128,000 square foot facility.
CARY — A lot of people are riding the ice hockey wave. On a warm, summerevening, it's hard to imagine one track of land will soon be covered withice. But it's ice, many people say is desperately needed.

More than 650 kids will take part in youth ice hockey in the Raleigh areathis year. And with Carolina Hurricane's hockey in the Triangle,organizers say the sport is going to soar.

Local residents want more ice hockey and more ice to play on. That's whatthree organizers are betting on. They're building a three-rink complex on14 acres in Cary, off of Davis Drive.

Organizer Bryan Rosenburg says it's a 128,000 square foot facility withtwo NHL-sized rinks and one olympic-sized rink.

Currently, there are just three rinks in the Triangle where the public canskate, take lessons, or play youth hockey. Skating instructor KathyKader says there's simply not enough ice time or space for everyone whowants to participate.

"The rinks are busy and used at all hours, as early as 4-5:00 in themorning and in the evening." Kader says. "It seems like everybody isalways looking for more ice."

Parent Debbie Gibson thinks the new ice-plex is a great idea. She saysthe Cary Ice House has been great, but it's also a smaller facility.

In the last few years, interest in ice skating has increased dramaticallyin the Triangle. What investors with the project hope is with theCarolina Hurricanes playing here, the sport is going to become even morepopular.

Once the new facility is completed, organizers hope the CarolinaHurricanes will practice there. They plan to break ground in Decemberwith the expectation the facility will be open in September of 1998.