The Steinbach Pistons can't be on home ice here in Steinbach for their next season as the Events Centre will still be under construction, so their temporary home rink will be in La Broquerie.
The City of Steinbach entered into an agreement with the RM of La Broquerie and the Pistons where they will repurpose the Centennial Arena’s safety glass to La Broquerie to improve their rink, as the Pistons will be playing their next season with La Broquerie’s rink as their home ice.
La Broquerie’s Council has decided that they will also participate in up to $50,000 for improvements to their rink.
The Pistons asked Steinbach to donate the safety glass because the standards for the MJHL are to have 6-foot glass at the ends and 4-foot glass on the side, and the safety glass in La Broquerie is too short for the MJHL specifications.
Mayor Earl Funk emphasizes the Pistons will have their practices there, their home games there, and that everything that they do on ice is going to be in La Broquerie.
He explains this will be a great way to build partnership between the City of Steinbach and the La Broquerie municipality, as they will house the Pistons and keep them playing hockey, while also upgrading La Broquerie’s rink.
“They're going to sacrifice a little bit of local ice time for the community, but by the time the Pistons are done their season, the upgrades to their arena will be substantial,” he says. “We're growing together, and this is a great example of how a municipality and a city can work together to make sure that we're doing the best thing we can for our residents in a time of growth.”
Councillor Susan Penner agrees that it’s a great initiative.
“It's really good to repurpose these materials because we wouldn't be able to use them in the new facility anyways, but it's also just a really good neighborly gesture, particularly since the Pistons will be playing out of La Broquerie next season.”
Penner notes that the Pistons are donating some other things like the boards, rubber matting, lockers, and cabinetry in addition to the plexiglass.
“So I think it's a goodwill gesture, and it also has some economic value for La Broquerie as well, which I think is great.”
Councillor Michael Zwaagstra says one of council’s priorities is regional relationships, and this is a prime example of that.
“La Broquerie is helping us out by providing a place for the Pistons to play over the next year while the main arena is not available, while we are helping them out by making this donation to them,” he says. “And so this is a great example of something simple that improves relationships with municipalities, so it's good to have these kinds of partnerships.”
Funk agrees that this is a goodwill gesture, for both the Pistons and the RM of La Broquerie.
“We're working together to provide a place where our communities can meet and watch our favorite team play hockey.”
City Manager Troy Warkentin explained that the plexiglass panels at the Centennial Rink could range anywhere between a value of $35,000 to $65,000 depending on the market.
If the glass was brand new, it could range in the neighborhood of $120,000 and $130,000.
Funk adds that he is looking forward to a year from now when Steinbach will have the Events Centre where the community can gather.
"It won't just be a spectator arena, there’s a gym, a banquet hall, the track, and a family fun zone,” he says. “There's going to be so much stuff for our communities to do, and we invite La Broquerie also to come and enjoy, the whole Southeast should be enjoying this Event Centre.”
With files from Corny Rempel