Tag Archives: hockey

UPDATED: LA Kings Acquire Pickwick Ice, Plans for $1 Million Renovation

Correction: We earlier reported that all of Pickwick Gardens was sold.  Updated reports say only the Pickwick Ice Center has been purchased.

After many rumors regarding the future of Pickwick Ice, the Los Angeles Kings and American Sports Entertainment Co. announced on Thursday, December 20, that they have acquired ownership of the ice rink, with plans for a $1 million renovation.

(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

The deal involves a long-term partnership with Ron Stavert, CEO of Pickwick Gardens, who has owned the popular ice rink with his family for over 60 years, starting in 1961.

Mayor Emily Gabel-Luddy, who is also a part of the Rancho community, believes the planned upgrades will secure Pickwick’s future.

“I am thrilled to hear about a new partnership between the Stavert Family and the LA Kings, our world class professional hockey team. Pickwick will remain a significant commercial recreational venue,” said Mayor Gabel-Luddy.

“Luc Robitaille (former player for the LA Kings, current president), whom I recently heard speak about the Kings South Bay Training Facility, is making a strategic and welcome investment in the San Fernando Valley and right here in Burbank. I am ready to put on my Golden Bears jersey!”

Today’s announcement of the acquisition included that the rink will be renamed “LA Kings Ice,” with remodeling causing the facility to temporarily close its doors in June.

Pickwick Ice Center (Photo By Ross A. Benson

During the closure, ASEC will be in charge of a three part renovation project, costing $1 million to improve equipment and conduct maintenance.

ASEC is the largest owner and operator of ice rinks and other indoor athletic facilities throughout the country. They currently operate 21 facilities throughout North Carolina, New York, Texas, Arizona, and in California, where they own the Toyota Sports Center in Los Angeles.

In October 2016, the fate of Pickwick Gardens was uncertain as rumors circulated that the facilities were in jeopardy since the maintenance costs for the property increased, causing profits to rapidly decline. Although the Stavert family was not interested in selling Pickwick Gardens, which also includes a bowling alley and a banquet hall, they turned to the city for suggestions.

In September 2017, a plan to demolish the buildings to be turned into housing was brought before residents at a City Council meeting, which was met with controversy in an eruption of “boos.”

Over the years, Pickwick Ice has been a staple in the Burbank community, serving as a home to the California Golden Bears youth hockey club, Los Angeles Figure Skating Club, several hockey teams, and countless birthday parties.

Old aerial picture of the full Pickwick complex. The old drive-in is now home to Pavilions (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

SPORTS’ SHORT

HOCKEY LEAGUE TAKES OFF

With the Los Angeles Kings on the verge of their first Stanley Cup in their 45-year history, interest in the sport of hockey is at its peak in the Los Angeles area since the days of Wayne Gretzky. One beneficiary of the renewed interest is the city of Burbank’s own “RollerKings” program.

The program is in the playoff portion of its schedule, and will feature games this Saturday, June 9 and championship games and trophy presentations on Saturday, June 16. It only its third season, the program already has over 100 participants ages 4 and up.

Program coordinator, Frank Dalessandro is proud of the direction of the league. “We are getting a lot of interest from new kids every week, and the success of the LA Kings will only help us grow more.”

Prospective players should contact Dalessandro at the rink office at (818) 845-0960 or at (818) 360-4302. They should also visit the league’s website at www.BurbankRollerHockey.com. No previous experience is necessary.

Hockey Season To Get Underway

The “Rollerkings” will be hosting registration for its Spring Season starting this Saturday, March 3. The roller hockey program is a great opportunity for youth in the city of Burbank looking to learn a new sport as it offers free use of equipment — including skates and a stick — as a part of its $150 registration for the season which lasts approximately four months.

In addition to team organized practices w

Kids of all ages can practice their hockey skills at Burbank's Hockey Rink located at Ralph Foy Park.(Photo by Ross A. Benson)

ith coaches, the city also offers an open rink from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each Friday for kids of all ages to come out and skate and play. The rink is located at Ralph Foy Park on Victory Boulevard.

“We offer the equipment as part of registration and chances for kids to use the rink because we know it is a sport they need to experience to see if they like it,” says Frank Dalessandro the league’s commissioner. “However as kids get more experienced the competition grows and the oldest league has some really good players.”

Players as young as four years old can participate in a “Learn to Play” program that allows players to learn the skills of the game of hockey. There is a more competitive 10-and-under division and a 16-and-under division as well. The divisions are open to both male and female athletes.

Open practice is played every Friday on Burbank's Hockey's Rink located at Ralph Foy Park. (Photo by Ross A. Benson)

Dalessandro added that the league hopes to expand with the addition of another division next season due to its growing popularity in recent seasons.

Each team gets jerseys, a team photo and a trophy at the conclusion of the season. Statistics and standings are updated daily on the website www.BurbankRollerHockey.com. Players looking to learn more about the league should visit the website or contact Dalessandro at (818) 845-0960 or Frank@BurbankRollerHockey.com.

The Burbank Roller Hockey League is sponsored by the Los Angeles Kings and the Community Sports Foundation.