Ralston Recorder wrote:A proposed 3,500-seat ice complex and arena is getting positive feedback from Ralston area residents who would like to see the land at the site of the former Lakeview Golf Course give the city another venue for sports and entertainment.
On March 29, the Nebraska Legislature took another step toward helping Ralston make the arena a reality, voting to move Legislative Bill 779 – which would provide a funding mechanism for such arenas – to the Select File for further debate.
Ralston Mayor Don Groesser has said early plans for the arena include two sheets of ice and could be converted into a venue for other sports and events. Planners are also pondering the inclusion of retail stores and a sports-themed restaurant in the venue.
So far, the plan to “bring the ice back” to the site of Seymour Lake has Ralstonites and other area residents liking what they hear.
After losing Lakeview Golf Course, several people said the city needed a new outlet for sports.
“I think it will be great – a positive influence on the area,” said Ralston resident Julie Nelsen. “It will be another athletic venue for kids and [it will] bring new people into the area.”
Other denizens praised the plan for what it will do to fill the sizeable hole left in the city since Lakeview closed three years ago.
Joe Distefano and Glen Bennett of Ralston said the city could use an attraction to that area of the city.
“It would be a great addition,” Bennett said. “It would bring a lot of revenue and people into the area. What else would you do with that pond?”
“I think it would be a good use of the land,” Distefano added.
The potential entertainment value was also something people living in the area said would attract them to spending more time and money in Ralston.
At the Ralston Barber Shop on a recent Saturday morning, Mike Naegele and Corey Christenson, 1996 graduates of Ralston High School and both now living in Sarpy County, said they would definitely make the trip up 72nd Street for ice sports and concerts.
“We’d definitely do something like that,” Christenson said. “I haven’t taken the kids ice skating and with [ice rinks] Hitchcock and Tranquility so far away, this would be a better opportunity for us.”
And with the Omaha Lancers reputedly interested in becoming tenants at the Ralston facility, Naegele said it would certainly be a pull for him and his family.
“It’s a great idea,” he said. “Especially if they could get the Lancers. This would be a great thing for getting Ralston out there, giving Ralston something new to show itself. I hope they do it.”