Workers install the ice and add the logos at the Summerland Arena. From left are Gregg Wilson

Steam ask for additional ice time in Summerland

After holding practices in Penticton last year, organizers of the Summerland Steam hockey team are asking for more ice time in Summerland.

After holding practices in Penticton last year, organizers of the Summerland Steam Junior B hockey team are asking for more ice time at the Summerland Arena.

Team owners Gregg Wilson and Tim Keilty said the cost of ice time in Penticton was considerably higher than Summerland’s rate.

In Summerland, ice time was $80 an hour, while the McLaren Arena in Penticton charged $175 an hour and the South Okanagan Events Centre charged $240 an hour.

“It’s three times as much to practice at the South Okanagan Events Centre,” Keilty said.

He added that the higher fees are charged because the Steam is not a Penticton team.

Wilson said holding all practices in Summerland could save the team around $8,000 a year.

The Steam had some practices at the Summerland Arena last year, but those practice times were in the early afternoon, during the high school’s lunch hour. Between 10 and 15 of the team’s 22 players would show up for those practices.

“We still need an evening practice for the kids who can’t make it during the day,” Wilson said.

The team includes players in high school, college and university as well as some who are working.

Brenda Ingram, assistant director of the municipality’s parks and recreation department, said the ice schedule for the upcoming season has not yet been set.

The users of the arena include the Steam, minor hockey, the Summerland Skating Club and others.

Daytime ice is also in demand as schools use the arena for their skating programs.

Teams, leagues and other ice users are on the ice each day from 5:30 a.m. until past midnight.