The RecZone is dead. Long live Raleigh Center Ice.
The news broke on Monday night that Liberty Solutions, the entity retained by BB&T to manage the RecZone, the Canes' practice facility and home to countless youth and college hockey leagues from across the Triangle, would reopen the RecZone sooner rather than later. Last night, ABC11 aired a story (video) about the impact of the reopening on the RYHA, and this afternoon, the News and Observer's David Bracken added additional details.
Liberty Solutions has reached an agreement with CCS and Patrick Cavanagh, owners of the Chilled Ponds Ice and Turf Sports Complex in Chesapeake, Virginia, to renovate and reopen the RecZone by mid-August. However, as part of the renovation, the facility will be renamed Raleigh Center Ice, and Liberty Solutions will remain the management company of record until BB&T finds a buyer for the rink. The bank foreclosed on the previous owner in mid-May and appointed Liberty to manage the rink's affairs until a sale occurs.
As a practical matter for the Canes, it looks like alternate plans will need to be made for the prospect camp, typically held the first full week of July. It was previously reported by the N&O's Chip Alexander that the Canes had a contingency plan in place with the Factory Ice House in Wake Forest in the event of a prolonged closure of the RecZone. However, today's news ensures that the Canes' training camp will not be affected and the facility will be available for the duration of camp.
Still up in the air is the status of "Camp Brindy", the informal conditioning camp typically beginning in mid- to late August, right around the time the rink is set to re-open. If everything goes according to plan, the new Raleigh Center Ice may be open in time for Camp Brindy, but a delay would likely force alternative plans to be made. Since Camp Brindy is not an official team event, any contingency plan would need to be made by the players themselves and not by the Canes. Assuming there are no significant delays, Camp Brindy will likely have at least a couple of weeks to use the reopened Raleigh Center Ice before training camp starts in mid-September.
We'll update the status of the Canes' offseason activities as we find out more...