Arena Usage Falling Fast In Chatham-Kent

Right when talks of a new arena seem to be climbing, usage of Chatham-Kent’s arenas are falling.

In a report completed by Jeff Bray, Chatham-Kent’s Manager, Parks and Open Spaces/Recreation Facilities, which will be given to council Monday, it was noted that, “Over the past several years, the Chatham-Kent arenas have experienced a steady decline in usage. This trend is expected to continue.”

The report attributes this to ‘demographics,’ ‘mergers of organizations,’ ‘financial restraints of residents,’ ‘less interest in participating in sports, time commitment, safety concerns,’ ‘leisure preferences and increasing resident diversity,’ and other factors.

Almost all of Chatham-Kent’s minor ice organizations have seen drastic declines in registration since 2014, with the exception of those in Dresden and Wallaceburg, who have both seen significant increases.

Bothwell Arena continued to be the least used arena in Chatham-Kent, with 73% of available ice going unused, followed by Wheatley at 55% and Ridgetown at 52%.

Chatham’s Thames Campus, and Blenheim’s arena were the two most used in the Municipality according to the report, although overall 41% of all ice time available went unused.

Chatham-Kent also posted the highest ice time costs, with the lone exception being those in Sarnia. Chatham’s hourly rates were $226.76 for prime, and $181.24 for non-prime, which was anywhere from $20 to $60 more per hour than other regional arenas.

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  • comment-avatar
    Gayle 3 months

    Maybe if hockey wasn’t so expensive, they’d have more people signing up.  There are so many that can not afford the registration, let alone the equipment you need to play.  We live in Canada, can we not make it so anyone any everyone can play?

  • comment-avatar
    Tony 3 months

    Question: Why or how is the ice time $20-$60.00 more per hour than other regional arenas? Possibly a drop in all of the ice time rates could lead to an increase ice time usage?  At one time CK ice time was the lowest in the region and all the CK arena’s ice time was heavily booked with very few openings.
     With the higher rates there will be lower usage? Not hard to figure out without all the other reasons given such as  “The report attributes this to ‘demographics,’ ‘mergers of organizations,’ ‘financial restraints of residents,’ ‘less interest in participating in sports, time commitment, safety concerns,’ ‘leisure preferences and increasing resident diversity,’ and other factors.”
    Better ice time rates = more ice time sales. Pretty simple resolution to open ice time. 

  • comment-avatar
    Lyle 3 months

    If you want more youth to participate. Lower the price so it is affordable. The value of recreation to our young people is great. If the price was cut in half your arenas would be a lot closer to capacity. Think value not just dollars