The League Ice Rink was last completed in Finland in 1999. This is Espoo, and of course the league has not been played there for years. Thus, the newest venue used in the league is the Turku Gatorade Arena, it was completed in November 1990. In a hockey country like Finland, the newest hall used in the league is therefore 30 years old.
Changes are coming in the coming years. Tampere is the most advanced in this matter. The Cover project includes the Uros Live arena, which will be completed in December 2021. It will become the home base of Ilves and Tappara, it is also the main stage of the spring 2022 World Hockey Tournament.
It happens elsewhere. Helsinki Garden and Turku Railway Yard are total projects of more than EUR 500 million. Jyväskylä, Hämeenlinna, Oulu and Lappeenranta are also on the move with hall projects.
Lappeenranta is considering
A multi-purpose arena for about 5,000 spectators is planned in Lappeenranta. In the East, the location of a possible arena project is being twisted. Some of the boards want a complex in Kisapuisto, where the current and rapidly aging hall is located. The league team SaiPa flags for a central position.
– A new arena is absolutely necessary for the league to continue. The government decision will determine the future of what it will be like in the field of league hockey and junior activities. The continuation of league-level hockey in Lappeenranta is not a matter of course. We are trying to find ways that we will continue to have the opportunity to act, says SaiPan’s CEO Jussi Markkanen.
– The central option would be best for us and the Juniors. Competing cities are moving fast, so should we. Private funding is coming to the center option through us (SaiPan) and individual parties in Lappeenranta, they see it as an important project for the vitality of the city center, the former top goalkeeper Markkanen adds.
Positive in Hämeenlinna
An arena of about 6,000 spectators is planned for Hämeenlinna. The location of HPK’s new home arena would be Hämeensaari by the lake.
– Negotiations on the role of the city are underway, as is town planning. A nice detail in this project is that we are negotiating the transfer of the Hämeenlinna parish premises to the arena, says the background person of the project. Ilkka Kilpimaa.
-The goal is to get a decision on the role of the city during 2021. This is followed by private sector financing negotiations.
In the optimal situation, construction work can be started in Hämeenlinna during 2022 or 2023.
Home for flies
In Oulu, discussions on the construction of a new multi-purpose arena have been going on for a long time. The city is expected to make a decision on the location of the arena later this fall.
– The starting point in Oulu is that the city needs to renovate the old hall or build a new one. If a new one is found there, then its place will be decided during the autumn. Let’s talk about the yard area or Raksila. Then you have to decide on the financing model, Kilpimaa, who is also involved in the Oulu project, says.
There is a positive atmosphere in Oulu regarding the construction of a new hall.
In Jyväskylä, the financial contribution to the Hippos project is being organized feverishly. According to Iltalehti, a positive solution will be reached in the coming weeks.
Turku Railway Yard
In Turku, the plans around a culture- and experience-focused city center development project are well under way. This is an investment of more than 500 million euros with ice sports arenas, restaurants and apartments. The development project, which goes by the name of the railway yard, includes a new home hall for TPS, about 10,000 spectators, and a training hall.
– The city decided in principle to join the ice sports arena for about 30 million euros. It was a precondition for the continuation of the whole project. In Turku, negotiations on a construction company are underway and negotiations on private sector financing are about to begin. The town plan will be confirmed at the beginning of next year, Kilpimaa et al.
The strong background forces of the Turku project are familiar from the Supercell gaming company Ilkka Paananen and Mikko Kodisoja as well as a puck legend Saku Koivu.
If things move fast in Turku, the hoe may be hit in the clay in 2022.