The City of Hamilton celebrated the re-opening of the J.L. Grightmire Arena today with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony. City of Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger welcomed Ward 13 Councillor Arlene VanderBeek and City Staff to mark the occasion.
“It’s been a long haul getting the arena renovation project across the finish line,” said Rom D’Angelo, Director, Energy, Fleet & Facilities Management, Public Works in a release. “Now that we are here, we hope the hockey community, Dundas residents and other users of the facility are impressed with every detail, including two spectacular viewing areas on both the main and second levels as well as the openness of the new entrance and lobby space.”
The J.L. Grightmire Arena closed in fall 2017 for renovations. Its last major renovation took place in 1982.
The renovations included a nearly 20,000 sq. ft. addition to the existing facility which included three floors, two above and one below grade, with elevator access to all levels. Six new change rooms, including two barrier free change rooms in the basement with direct access to the arena level as well as upgrades to Junior and Senior change room facilities came with the renovations, as well as a new concession area.
A new 200 m walking track around the bowl of the arena was added with a brand new second floor viewing area and multipurpose space as well as a brand new chiller plant for making and maintaining the ice was added. Cosmetic interior upgrades were also part of the renovations, including new boards and protective netting around the rink, fresh paint on arena floors, railings, and doors. New railings were also installed throughout the facility and new plumbing fixtures were installed in existing restrooms. Finally arena roof repairs and re-roofing of specific areas was also done.
“The arena has been an integral part of the fabric of the Dundas community for as long as I can remember,” stated Arleen VanderBeek, City of Hamilton Councillor for Ward 3. “We are enormously pleased to be “back home”. We are anxious to experience the new and improved aspects of the facility and are looking forward to enjoying the familiarity of our old rink.”
The Dundas Blues opened their 60th season after the opening ceremonies against the Niagara Riverhawks which didn’t go the Blues’ way as they were defeated 5-3.
The game got off to fast start with six goals in the first twenty minutes, four from the visitors and a pair from the home team. Both Nick Cutaia and team captain Chris Cudek found the back of the new in the opening period, both of which came on the power play. Eric Bridgwater added a third goal for the Blues just 15 seconds into the second period before both the defense and goalies stopped the offensive push from the two teams.
Jayden Engberts added an empty net goal for Niagara in at 19:30 of the third period to cap the goal scoring.
The loss evens the Blues’ record at 1-1 to start the season. Dundas will hit the road next Wednesday night when they visit their crosstown rivals in the Glanbrook Rangers. They return home for their second home game of the season the following night when they host Port Dover.