Leeds ice rink on Elland Road set to be open in time for Christmas

LEEDS ICE RINK is scheduled to open before Christmas, according to owners Planet Ice.

Sunday, 24th November 2019, 9:38 pm
Updated Monday, 25th November 2019, 9:09 pm
NOT LONG: Leeds' Elland Road ice rink is scheduled to be open in time for the Christmas holidays - although it will be almost another month before the Leeds Chiefs can stage games there.

The brand new facility was expected to open in August but has been beset by delays in its construction, which first began on the site near to Leeds United’s Elland Road stadium in the middle of 2018.

One setback in Autumn last year came when part of the wooden roof structure was blown down by high winds, setting the project back months.

Work restarted earlier this year, but there have been further delays meaning that the Leeds Chiefs ice hockey team - competing in its first-ever season in the newly-formed NIHL National league - had to play its first 10 games away.

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WAITING GAME: Leeds Chiefs are hoping to step out on to the Elland Road ice some time in January. Picture courtesy of gw-images.com

The first home games were scheduled for Elland Road at the beginning of November, but they too have had to be played elsewhere with the Chiefs ‘hosting’ four matches at other Planet Ice rinks in Blackburn and Widnes.

But even though the rink will be open for the Christmas holiday season, it will only be for general public skating with the Chiefs having to wait until mid-January at the earliest before they can play there.

Planet Ice Leeds general manager Simon McGuinness announced that further scheduled home games throughout December and early January would now be played elsewhere.

It means the home game against Telford Tigers on Saturday, January 11, is now scheduled as the first time Sam Zajac’s team will step out on home ice in a competitive game at which point the Chiefs will have already played 30 out of their 52 regular season fixtures.

OPENING SOON: Leeds ice rink on Elland Road, pictured in late September. Picture: Simon Hulme.

“We are seeing developments on the rink site on a daily basis and the rink is scheduled to open for Christmas,” said McGuinness.

“For us to be able to launch the Leeds Chiefs team onto home ice at Elland Road we want to make sure that the arena is in the best condition for fans to really enjoy watching the team and sampling the great match night experience.”

The rink’s Skate Excellence programme is now scheduled to begin January 7-8.