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Skaters hit the ice at Icon Sports Center grand opening

Jayson Ficklin, 3, skates during the open ice time at the opening of the ICON Sports Arena on Thursday, Dec 11, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)1 / 3
Jayson Ficklin, 3, skates during the open ice time at the opening of the ICON Sports Arena on Thursday, Dec 11, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)2 / 3
Kids and adults take to the ice after the ribbon cutting ceremony at the opening of the ICON Sports Arena on Thursday, Dec 11, 2014, in Grand Forks, N.D. (Logan Werlinger/Grand Forks Herald)3 / 3

Skaters were finally able to hit the ice of the Icon Sports Center Thursday night during the arena's grand opening.

The $13 million facility has two sheets of ice and is hosting its first tournament this weekend, starting today.

"It's a tournament facility, and it's geared toward our youth hockey players," said Jay Panzer, president of the Grand Forks Park Board.

Angela Kunz, who has four kids in youth hockey, watched her children skate during the grand opening.

"We're very excited," she said. "I think part of hockey is being able to travel to tournaments, but hosting tournaments is a big part of our community."

The arena has a projected economic impact of $4 million, according to a news release.

Kunz added that having more ice time available with the new arena will make it so her kids' practices aren't as late at night.

Each rink in the 73,836-square-foot arena seats 400 people.

Several additional features, such as a dryland training room and meeting rooms, are unfinished, but the arena is complete enough to host hockey tournaments, Panzer said.

The facility will become the Grand Forks Park District's main office in February 2015.

Charly Haley
Charly Haley covers city government for the Grand Forks Herald. As night reporter, she also has many general assignments. Before working at the Herald, she was a reporter at the Jamestown Sun and interned at The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, Detroit Lakes Newspapers and the St. Cloud Times. Haley is a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead, and her hometown is Sartell, Minn.
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