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October 12, 2010


Ice center cost skyrockets based on “more detailed cost estimates”

by Deena Winter

Breslow Ice Center

I’ve finally gotten somewhat of an answer as to why the projected cost of the Breslow Ice Center has gone up more than 100 percent in recent months.
Parks & Recreation Director Lynn Johnson said the original cost estimate was based on “estimated square footage for a two-surface ice arena” and cost estimates for similar projects in other communities.
Then there was another cost estimate based on a “a schematic floor plan specific to the Breslow Ice Center” for the original location, just north of Harris Overpass. The most recent cost estimate of $20 million or more is for a two-surface facility in the newly proposed location, closer to Haymarket Park.
I’m still waiting to hear back from Lynn as to whether any of the increase is attributable to the new proposed location, which would displace a public works facility (although I assume that’s going to happen no matter what). As you may recall, the public works facility is one of several the mayor wants to move to the Experian building, if the City Council agrees to buy it. Right now, that’s a pretty big “if.”
The ice center is being designed by DLR Group, the Omaha firm also designing Lincoln’s $168 million arena. This wouldn’t be the first time a DLR project’s cost crept up significantly. The company took heat when the cost of a Sarpy County minor league baseball stadium “crept” up some $6 million. See the story.

Read more from The Arena
4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jeff Poley
    Oct 13 2010


    As I recall, the original proposal called for two rinks in a facility that contained seating or bleachers for only about 150 persons. Apparently, the newest proposal calls for increasing seating by a factor of at least ten. I wonder if the fact that the Big 10 conference is one short of members with a hocky team would have any impact on building a facility that would support a hocky team fan base…just a thought.


  2. Oct 16 2010

    You may be right… until someone explains the cost increase, it’s impossible to know what has happened though.

  3. yeti44
    Mar 31 2011

    Hi Deena,

    I know this is an old topic, but I was hoping you could shed some light on this ice center. I’m one of many hockey enthusiasts in this city who have hoped this new ice center would have been built by now. The costs have gone up 100%, from 11 million to 24 million, and from what I understand, the foundation is now talking about putting this rink near the Haymarket Park baseball stadium instead of in the downtown Haymarket area. Honestly, I’m starting to have my doubts that this will ever get built. It’s crazy to think a city of this size does not have a facility with year round ice. I’m still not happy that this rink was held hostage by the arena vote. If you go back and read some of the early articles, the city and UNL planned to open it by February 2010. Over one year later, and they haven’t even decided where to put it.

    Very frustrating. Thanks for letting me vent. If you have any information, I’d love to hear from you.


  4. Bruce Hiller
    Apr 26 2011

    I agree with Tim on this one!
    We need the ice rink to be built as a useful structure not a large expensive arena.
    I have coached with the Lincoln Ice Hockey Association for 6 years now, I am on the
    Board for LIHA now and there is not any conservation between the association and the designers or the city. If this ice center gets built it will be a huge benefit for the
    skaters in Lincoln for hockey and figure skaters. We continue to have skaters choose to skate with Omaha and Fremont teams since we cannot get many more skaters on the limited ice times that we have now.
    What Lincoln really needs is a simple Ice Rink that has seating for 500, 4 locker rooms and ICE. We will be able to bring teams into Lincoln for tournaments 2 to 6 times a season with such a facility. The money is there for this type of project now and the remainder could be in a trust fund to support its operation.
    We need to get something moving on this project before the money goes away!


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