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Frequently Asked Questions

What is I.C.E., Inc.?

I.C.E., Inc., the owner and operator of Verona Ice Arena, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization led by a volunteer Board of Directors and dedicated to providing ice for kids of all ages and all abilities.  Verona Ice Arena (VIA) opened its doors in 1994, and for over 25 years has provided traditional hockey and skating programs, as well as countless special events and skating opportunities for thousands of people every year.  

Why is the Capital Campaign for Verona Ice Arena Expansion necessary?

The Verona Wildcats Youth Hockey Association (VWYHA) and I.C.E., Inc. have done extraordinary work promoting hockey in Verona and the surrounding area, and VIA now faces increasing challenges meeting the needs of its users.  Hockey is a growing sport for children throughout all age groups, and VWYHA has grown substantially over the last decade.  The U6-U8 hockey program is one of the fastest growing in the state, and girls’ hockey and figure skating are increasingly popular.  VIA, with only one sheet of ice, cannot meet the current demand for ice time by its primary users.  

What are the potential economic impacts for the City of Verona?

  • VIA is proud to host an annual Mite/U8 tournament in March, as well as a youth WAHA State tournament in most years.  These tournaments can bring in 7 or more teams from outside the Madison area for two to three days.  The hotels, restaurants, and local shops of Verona and Fitchburg benefit from this tourism generated by VIA and VWYHA.  With a second sheet of ice, VIA would be able to host more tournaments, and larger ones, as well as extend the hockey-tournament season into late spring and summer. 

  • In addition, the second sheet of ice would allow VIA the opportunity to work with the Chamber of Commerce to bring in speed skating and curling competitions.  These events attract a national audience and spectators who require food and lodging.

  • A second sheet of ice would enable VIA to host figure skating competitions, which bring in participants and spectators from around the region.  

  • The additional facility can function as a special multi-purpose community event space if the ice is taken out during the off-season.  During the summer, VIA has the option to take out the ice and offer the space for non-skating competitions and exhibitions.

Will the new facility offer other programs in addition to hockey?

Absolutely!  The current demand for ice time affects everyone, not just VWYHA and hockey teams.  In a typical week, VIA users include figure skaters, preschoolers learning to skate, kids and adults at open skate, and recreational adult hockey players.  A second sheet of ice will help VIA foster a stronger figure skating program and provide more opportunities for the public to participate in general skate sessions.  Families with young children will benefit from more frequent and convenient ice time for Learn to Skate lessons.  Finally, VIA will be able to support the broader skating community with ice times available to other established user groups experiencing the squeeze in available ice times at other facilities.

Does the new $180M Verona Area High School have its own dedicated ice rink on the new campus?

No.  VIA is proud to host the Verona Area High School hockey team, a varsity program dominant in the State of Wisconsin with four straight appearances at the State Tournament.  The extensive, newly built high school athletic facilities did not include an ice rink.  Therefore, the VAHS hockey team competes for ice time with the youth teams and other users in the community.

How will the expansion of Verona Ice Arena impact girls’ hockey?

Part of VWYHA’s continued growth and success is due to the Mavericks, the pioneering like-skilled hockey program for U14 girls in the Madison area.  Right now, Mavericks teams face the same ice time shortages as the boys’ teams, and they would benefit by having more ice available at convenient times.  Though there exists demand for all-girls programs at younger levels, there is simply no ice available to allow that expansion.  A second sheet of ice is the only way to expand all-girls hockey to younger girls.  

 

Further, current plans for the VIA expansion include a dedicated girls’ high school locker room!  Right now, girls in the Verona Area High School District play hockey for the Madison Metro Lynx team, a high school co-op with home ice at Madison Ice Arena (MIA).  MIA faces an even more dire ice shortage, with three high school programs and a large youth association sharing a single sheet of ice.  Though the WIAA co-op alignment process can be difficult to predict, VIA hopes to offer a Verona Area-based girls’ high school co-op team the chance to call VIA home.  The benefits of this arrangement would include new locker room facilities, a new arena to play in, more convenient practice times, and increased game ice availability.

How does the partnership with Edgewood High School affect the current and future users of Verona Ice Arena?

We are pleased to be working with Edgewood High School as a partner in this project, and their support will be critical to making this rink a reality.  Edgewood High School is working with us right now to develop a partnership agreement with I.C.E. Inc. that will provide preferred ice times for practices and games, new locker rooms, and Edgewood High School Crusader Hockey branding in the new rink.  

 

Just as the existing rink is used by Verona and Mavericks youth teams for practice during evening prime time and games on the weekends, so will the new rink be used.  The Verona and Mavericks youth programs will benefit immensely by this partnership with expanded ice time opportunities.  The broader community will see increased availability of ice time for general skate, figure skating, youth lessons, and more.  We are excited for the opportunity to host another elite high school team at Verona Ice Arena!

How much will the new facility cost?

Based on early estimates, a facility to meet our current and future needs will cost $8M.  This includes land acquisition, site preparation, ice and boards, locker rooms, and fixtures and equipment.

How will the money be raised?

I.C.E., Inc. and Verona Wildcats Youth Hockey Association have contracted the services of the Sweeney Group to coordinate fundraising for the new rink.  The “Ice for Kids of All Ages” campaign has a goal of $7M in private support from individuals, families, businesses, grants, and foundations throughout the Dane County area.  The O’Brien Family and The Jingles O’Brien Scholarship Fund have kick-started the capital campaign with a generous $1M donation.  We believe that strong community support from hockey families, city leaders, and other interested parties will make the new rink a reality.  

When will construction begin?

We hope to have the funding from donors solidified in Spring/Summer 2022 and begin the construction process shortly thereafter.  Realistically, the new sheet of ice could open in the fall of 2023, in time for the 2023-24 hockey season.

How can I support the Capital Campaign for Verona Ice Arena Expansion?

Every gift to this campaign is an important step toward making the new rink a reality.  Ice Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible as allowable by law.  Many gift options are available, including cash and securities, appreciated stock, and planned giving arrangements.  Further, cash may be pledged over 5 years, allowing flexibility for the donor.  This table shows how donations can be distributed over several years, providing continued support for the new rink project while offering individuals and families the ability to spread out their giving.

Initial Gift

2022

Year 2

2023

Year 3

2024

Year 4

2025

Year 5

2026

Total Gift Amount

$500

$500

$500

$500

$500

$2,500

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

$1,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$5,000

$25,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$10,000

$50,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$20,000

$100,000

 

Gifts will be recognized in various ways, such as a donor wall that will be located in a prominent area.  A number of naming opportunities for different spaces in the new rink will be available for donors who find those spaces particularly meaningful or significant.  While we feel strongly that support at all levels should be publicly acknowledged, anonymity will be strictly respected if requested.  

 

Know that gifts of any amount, large or small, are valuable to our mission of “Ice for Kids of All Ages,” and your generosity is greatly appreciated.

If you have further questions or need more information, please reach out to Mike O’Brien at (608)698-5665 or verona.iceinc@gmail.com.