EUGENE, Ore. — Figure skaters from all over the Northwest are headed to Eugene for the Northwest Pacific Regional Championships.
That’s a big change from two years ago when the Lane Ice Center almost shut down.
Not too long ago the ice center was faced with major financial problems. The rebound is credited to a partnership between Lane County and Hockey Oregon. That independent company helped revitalize the facility, making much-needed long-term improvements, like new compressors and heaters.
Eugene Generals hockey players say they’ve seen a drastic improvement in the facility and the ice they are skating on.
Starting Thursday, 250 figure skaters, plus coaches and fans, will descend on Eugene to compete in the regional championships. This is the first time the ice center played host to a tournament of this magnitude.
“To go from the brink of closing something you care so much about and two years to have it all again and to see it growing and becoming something more, it’s a wonderful feeling,” said Flint Doungchak, Lane Ice Center General Manager.
The competition is open to the public. Daily ticket prices are $15.
Over the past two years contributions from the Ice Sports Foundation and Hockey Oregon have resulted in a six-figure investment in the facility. Nearly 70 percent of the money has come from Hockey Oregon.