Hudson Hockey Association serves ages 4 to 18 with no youth ever turned away. More specifically, 425 youth (13,000 since inception) are on hockey teams, and within ten years, we expect to serve 1,100 youth on teams due to the projected growth of the Hudson area. Annually, the Civic Center has an estimated 170,000 total visits (34,557 unique visitors) of families, youth and civic groups. After the renovation, we project 276,000 total visits (52,102 unique visitors).
Thirty years ago, HHA had the first all-ages girls hockey program in the state. This led the path for other communities to do the same. Our mission supports opportunity for all. Beyond the youth hockey program, the Civic Center hosts events for the civic organizations and nonprofits including various initiatives that allow those with disabilities the chance to be on the ice. Schools use the Civic Center for skating field trips and the Hudson High School’s Girls and Boys Varsity, and JV hockey teams utilize it for both practices and games.
In addition, the Civic Center hosts cancer fundraisers, Try Hockey For Free (provides equipment, coaching and development all free of charge), and Learn to Play Hockey developmental programming, the Junior Hockey team Hudson Havoc, figure skating, open ice skating for the general public, Pee Wee International with guests coming from three continents and nearly a dozen countries, FHIT Training, and adult hockey leagues, promoting health and wellbeing.
The renovation and addition of multi-purpose community spaces will inevitably attract more civic groups, nonprofits, and businesses to host events, meetings, and large arena-sized events at the Civic Center. The original facility (Gornick Arena) was built in 1989 and expanded to two sheets of ice in 2005 (Drewiske Arena), each with their own entrances.
Our growth is already putting a strain on our Civic Center and our programs. We view the population growth of the regional area not as a challenge, but an opportunity that can be fully captured by a successful capital campaign. Without it, we stunt the opportunity to serve more youth and develop them into leaders of character, giving them a healthy outlet and a safe place to build trusted, accountable relationships with adults and their peers.
Our facility and our locally driven ability to maintain it was adequate for years, but now we face the following challenges which compromise our future in the growing east metro/Hudson area and our local economy:
- Serious failing mechanicals including HVAC
- Limited community and locker room space
- Obsolete technology
- Inadequate seating
- Poor layout with no main entrance
- Not ADA compliant including no elevator
- Outdated fire suppression
- Minimal bathroom stalls and old plumbing
- No catering kitchen
- A large parking lot filled with pot holes throughout causing safety hazards
In 2018, Hudson Hockey Association began planning to complete the rink connection to add 20,000 square feet of finished space that includes:
- Centralized single-point entrance connecting two pre-existing separate rinks together and one main entrance to both rinks which will allow us to streamline operations with improved flow and better safety
- One updated and larger concession stand to operate (vs. two today)
- Two large multi-purpose spaces for the community along with a catering kitchen, offering organizations, youth and families adequate space and technology to host trainings, meetings, parties, banquets, and other civic events
- Additional modern locker rooms with amenities including showers and bathrooms which will make the center a better destination for revenue-generating tournaments and events
- New locker rooms for the Boys and Girls High School programs
- 650 seats will be added between the two rinks providing for a better community experience and larger events for seating up to 1,250
- Fire suppression system improvements
- Replacement of HVAC and other failing mechanicals
- Make the entire building fully compliant with handicap accessibility requirements including a first ever elevator
- New technology and equipment
- Renovate all existing square footage to a uniform fit and finish
The capital campaign, Excellence at Every Level, was kicked-off in December 2020 to raise funds for the completion of these improvements. As of April 2022, we are at 64% of our fundraising goal of $5,000,000 (and almost 75% with verbal commitments). The current schedule for beginning construction is late summer 2022.
The Hudson Sports and Civic Center is owned and operated by HHA, a nonprofit organization and currently generates an estimated $1.1MM of economic impact locally for the tourism, hospitality, and travel businesses. With the proposed facility improvements, it is estimated that local businesses will conservatively recognize $15MM to $20MM in incremental economic activity over the next ten years, equating to an additional $1.7MM on average, annually of local economic impact. This would be accomplished through the generation of additional tournaments and civic events driving more tourism opportunities (hotels, meals, shopping) within the community.