SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. (WPRI) — The Boss Ice Arena at the University of Rhode Island (URI) has been shut down and won’t open back up until at least Nov. 6.
The closure is due to a “near-complete loss” of the arena’s ice plant, according to a university spokesperson.
The arena is primarily used by the URI hockey team, but also hosts open skates for the public. It also hosts several of the state’s high school teams and youth hockey leagues.
“It’s something I didn’t realize until this happened, but there’s already a shortage of ice in this state,” youth hockey coach Ryan Chamberlin said. “We’ve already been fighting for ice time, so losing one of our rinks will have a giant ripple effect.”
Chamberlin tells 12 News his team has taken to rollerblading during practices on the arena’s cement base. Meanwhile, other teams have opted to practice without skates.
The spokesperson said URI is working “aggressively” to find a solution and has been in contact with the impacted teams.
“We recognize how important Boss Arena is to our community and to the many individuals and families who use the rink,” the spokesperson wrote. “We are doing everything we can to expedite this process.”