Hockey players, figure skaters face off in Edina

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Ice time can be a serious subject in Minnesota communities, and the topic has hockey players and figure skaters taking slapshots at each other in Edina.

KARE 11 reported last week that two thriving skating groups are battling over ice time on the three rinks at the city's Braemar Arena, a taxpayer-supported venue.

Leaders of the 1,323-member Edina Hockey Association say the the 128-member Braemar City of Lakes Figure Skating Club is taking up too much ice time, given the small size of its group, KARE reported. The hockey players also argue that, proportionately, more of their members are from Edina compared to the figure skaters. In fact, 99 percent of the hockey players are from Edina, group leaders say, the Star Tribune reported in its take on the story.

City officials have asked the skaters to give up some prime ice time, and the City Council is asking leaders of the rival groups to meet with city staff to find a solution, the newspaper reported. City officials hope to have a resolution by next month.

The figure skaters say they had believed that their ice time at Braemar was guaranteed for 20 years according to an agreement with the city, struck last year, the Star Tribune reported.

“I really feel like we’re being bullied here. We have no voice, and it’s all about hockey,” Rosalind Wright, co-vice president of the Figure Skating Club, told the newspaper.

Spats over highly valuable ice time are not new in the state. One battle spilled over into U.S. District Court in 2011.

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