NDCC recreation manager Eric Bientjes sits in one of the 65 chairs that will be removed from the arena early next month.

Nelson arena to lose 65 seats

The top row of seats on the east side of the arena will be removed to increase space for walkers and joggers.

Though hockey fans consider them the best seats in the house, a row of chairs in the Nelson and District Community Centre arena will soon be removed to create more concourse space.

The 65 chairs that currently form the top row on the east side of the arena will be taken out early next month, reducing the total number of seats to 1,335.

NDCC recreation manager Eric Bientjes said removing the chairs will allow more room for walkers and joggers who regularly use the concourse for exercise, free of charge.

“It’s a popular place for seniors and mothers pushing strollers to come and walk indoors, especially in the winter,” said Bientjes, noting it’s also used for NDCC fitness classes and people running stairs. “The chairs, how they are now, create a bottle neck for these activities.”

Removing the seats will increase the walking space on the east side of the concourse by 30 per cent, which Bientjes explained will allow two mothers to push their strollers side-by-side.

But Nelson Leafs head coach Frank Maida isn’t happy about the seats coming out.

“We have season ticket holder that are disappointed,” he said. “Once the seats are removed they’ll probably never go back.”

The top row is popular for hockey fans because it allows spectators to see over the glass, while also allowing an unobstructed view of the corners of the rink.

Maida was disappointed that the Leafs weren’t involved in the consultation process.

“We were never asked what we thought of this, we were just told this was happening,” he said.

Bientjes said the decision was made by the recreation commission.

“We knew the answer we would get from the Leafs if we asked them,” he said, explaining they had to weigh the hockey team’s disappointment against the benefit to other facility users.

During peak winter months, as many as 150 people recreate on the concourse each day. The recreation commission is also considering the the idea of investing in a more suitable walking surface for the concourse, which is currently just bare concrete, but Bientjes doubts they could do it without charging a user fee.

“We’d have to recoup the cost of improving the flooring, and at this point we want to keep this a free place to drop in,” he said. “We consider it a public service. It’s the only place [in Nelson] for people to walk indoors, besides the mall.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Art as reconciliation: Ymir artist hosting BC Culture Days event

Damian John will lead a workshop titled Exploring Reconciliation Through Creativity

Interior Health reports three additional COVID-19 cases in region

The number of cases in the region since the beginning of the pandemic are now at 492

Brittny Anderson seeks Nelson-Creston NDP nomination

Anderson is currently a member of Nelson city council

Conservative opposition critic tours through Kootenay riding on listening tour

Pierre Poilievre, the Tory finance critic, gathering local feedback on pandemic supports, recovery issues

Kaslo art exhibit invites you to play in the forest

Hide and seek on the Kaslo River Trail

3 new deaths due to COVID-19 in B.C., 139 new cases

B.C. confirms 40 ‘historic cases,’ as well

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dies at 87

The court’s second female justice, died Friday at her home in Washington

Emaciated grizzly found dead on central B.C. coast as low salmon count sparks concern

Grizzly was found on Gwa’sala-‘Nakwaxda’xw territory in Smith Inlet, 60K north of Port Hardy

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

CHARTS: Beyond Metro Vancouver, COVID-19 cases in B.C. haven’t increased much recently

COVID-19 case counts outside of Metro Vancouver have been level since July

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at mall parking lot

Most Read