The Martha’s Vineyard Arena (Arena) is a 501(c)-(3) non-profit organization that exists to house numerous skating organizations. The Arena is a recreational facility that educates children and adults in the disciplines of hockey and figure skating, and provides a friendly atmosphere for the casual skater during public sessions. It is the only ice skating arena on Martha’s Vineyard.
The number of people served, including participants and audience, throughout the 9 months that the Arena is open, is approximately 3,000 or approximately 18% of the year-round residents. Unlike other skating rinks, the Arena does not receive a subsidy from the state or the local town.
The Arena’s Board of Directors President, Jim Kelleher, notes that “we are at a critical point in the Arena’s existence. We have a roof that is over 30 years old and in desperate need of replacement. At the same time, we are housing major athletic programs, which operate in the fall and winter months that include children and adults from all corners of the Vineyard. We are at risk that a major leak or a combined number of leaks could cause all rink-related athletic programs to be suspended, if not cancelled, for a major portion of the season.” Jerry Murphy, the Arena’s Director, explained that “over the last few years, we have been using operating funds to patch the various leaks that have popped up inevitably during the heavy storms. Today we are at the point where we are receiving estimates to patch the roof to the tune of approximately $12,000 without preventing new leaks after the patching takes place.”
The Arena has applied to various foundations on the Vineyard for grants to help close the gap of funds required for the replacement of the roof. Kelleher indicated that “the size of this project is simply too costly for our annual fundraising events to cover. The cost to replace the roof and add much-needed insulation is approximately $400,000.” Murphy stated that “the concomitant effect of insulating the roof will be to significantly reduce our annual electrical bill by almost $24,000 as our electrical cost comprises approximately 22% of our annual operating expense budget.”
This past August the Arena had its annual fundraiser called Ice Savours implementing the campaign entitled “raise the roof.” While this campaign was extremely successful, receiving a total of approximately $150,000 net of expenses, it only gets us close to being halfway to the required funds needed to build the roof. The Arena offers a vast number of programs to our skating community – Introductory Figure Skating, Youth Figure Skating, Youth Hockey, Girl’s and Boy’s Junior Varsity and Varsity High School Hockey, Girls Hockey, Public Skating, an Adult Hockey League, Summer Hockey Camps, and more. All require a functional skating rink. Through the years, the Arena has been a hub of numerous recreational events for our community and has become an integral part of Island culture, a place where islanders go for entertainment and exercise, especially in the winter months when there are much fewer options available.
The Arena needs your support to close the gap as soon as possible as we are looking to start construction when the rink closes traditionally at the beginning of April through mid-July. To help, please send your donations to: MV Arena, P.O. Box 2062, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568 OR go online to www.mvarena.com and scroll down to the “donations” button.
What events are happening at your ice arena?
- Public Skating is every Tuesday & Thursday @ 12:00 PM till 2:00 PM , then again on Saturday & Sunday @ 3:30 PM till 4:50 PM.
- Power Skating is every Saturday starting @ 2:30 PM.
- Girls Hockey (the Ospreys) skate Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 7:00 PM…ages 9 - 14 are welcomed!
- Open Stick-handling takes place each Tuesday @ 4:00 PM until the end of November. Bring your helmet, stick and a puck.
- The Pro Shop (Sports Haven) hours are posted on the home page of the Martha’s Vineyard Arena each week.