Future Of Hockey Season In Question For Beaver County

(Matt Drzik/Beaver County Radio)

Will the puck be dropped? Or will the season be put on ice?

Following the decree of a federal judge ruling Governor Tom Wolf’s pandemic restrictions on gatherings “unconstitutional”–and the Wolf administration’s announcement to appeal that ruling–the futures of many local events are in a state of limbo, including the upcoming hockey season for high schools and youth organizations alike.

“We’re waiting to determine and see if, while that appeal’s pending, if those numbers are still in play or if they’re not,” said Solicitor Garen Fedeles at Wednesday’s Commissioner Work Session, referring to the limit set by Governor Wolf of 25 people at indoor events and 250 at outdoor events.

“If that were to be removed,” Fedeles said, “I believe it would go back to 50% of whatever the occupancy limit is for that facility.”

This has been an issue that the Commissioners have received numerous emails about, and the issues haven’t been relegated to simply crowd size.  Commissioner Dan Camp brought up two particular concerns from those emails; one about players changing in the lobby as opposed to the locker rooms, and the other about player safety.

“We were reached out to by a lady whose son is now playing [a level of] hockey where they can check each other, so there’s a higher chance of getting hurt,” Camp said. “Her concern is that if a kid gets hurt and she has to take them to the hospital or doctor, she can’t relay back to that doctor or hospital what happened to her child, because that would just be hearsay from whoever was there.”

“So I guess the question is,” Camp proposed, “how do we get around these parents–or at least one parent–into the crowd during practice if they wanted to?”

The dubious future of the Ice Arena’s usage comes at the heels of its winning of a $100,000 grant to “Renovate The Rink” from the Pittsburgh Penguins Foundation.

(Photo courtesy Matt Drzik)