Historic Memorial Arena
Memorial is one of the few historic buildings in Penticton. The importance of this building to our history is emphasized by the World Cup tribute in the roundabout directly in front of the building. Inside the arena rests memorial tributes to a bygone era.
Memorial’s ice surface is too small, measuring only 80 feet by 180 feet. It seats 2,212. It was mentioned somewhere recently that Penticton needs more and larger rinks with less seating capacity than Memorial to supply the hockey needs of the community.
The South Okanagan Events Centre has two NHL-sized rinks at 85 feet by 200 feet. The first rink seats 5,000. The second rink used by the Okanagan Hockey School has a seating capacity of only 400 spectators.
It would seem to me a relatively simple matter to expand Memorial’s rink surface with the removal of about 1,500 seats. After all we only need to add five feet in width and 20 feet in length. This would seem to me to be a good solution that would keep the heritage of Memorial Arena relevant for today’s usage.
All of the Memorial items could be placed in the long entrance hall leading to the concourse of the SOEC on the east side of the building. This long entrance hall leads onto the B.C. Hockey Hall of Fame and is in keeping with the historic value of the treasures in Memorial.
A parking garage in the future could be placed directly behind the SOEC on the west side of the building. It would be easy to provide direct access into the SOEC if it was placed in this spot.
History is important. After the Second World War many historic sites in Europe were rebuilt to preserve that history.