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Gilroy
June 20, 2024
music in the park san jose

San Jose Sharks present plans for ice rink in Gilroy

Council will consider construction bids at upcoming meeting

Gilroy could have a new ice rink by fall 2026, according to a presentation at the City Council meeting Monday night. 

The master plan of a “Preliminary Ice Center” paid for by the San Jose Sharks was the highlight of the May 6 agenda, Mayor Marie Blankley said during the council session.

The plan also offered future considerations to a neighboring soccer field.

Gilroy residents in attendance oohed and aahhhed as renderings and a full digital model were presented by City Administrator Jimmy Forbis, who stated the construction of the rink will take up 100,000 square feet in a plot of land between Monterey Road and the Uvas River.

The project began five years ago, Forbis said. He made it clear the goal Monday was to represent renderings. 

The plan kickstarted when the city adjusted their “Sports Park Masterplan” back in 2019 for this project. The updates insured mitigations to the environmental impact that would come with building. The sports complex’s plans are an original idea from the “Economic Development Partnership” formed years ago, in which it was one of three proposals that received the go ahead for further discussion. 

A resolution to make Gilroy a recreational destination was approved at a council meeting back in September 2020.

“On August 21, 2023, City Council approved Sharks related items, a bond reimbursement agreement, and a contract with Architects Perkins & Will for preparation of ‘Basic Design’ documents related to Gilroy Ice Center Projects,” the May 6 council agenda stated.

The site “Sharks Ice Gilroy,” is a partnership between the San Jose Sharks and the City of Gilroy. Representing the San Jose Sharks at the May 6 meeting was Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, Chris Shay, who sat in attendance.

The design features two NHL-sized ice rinks. Forbis called the 65,000-square-foot first floor an “Event Level” featuring a lobby, elevator, amenities, two conference rooms, skate rental area, small grab-and-go packaged food items, and in the center a 927-square-foot cafe. 

Forbis said the largest component of the first floor is the retail area, suggesting this was a way to absorb revenue: food, drink and retail.

The second floor offered a gym, which displayed 15,000 square feet—smaller than the lower level because of open air, Forbis claimed.

The last rendering of the interior offered a 3,800-square-foot upper deck bar and lounge that would offer views of both rinks.

Forbis suggested the project is a chance to capitalize on land, as Gilroy is one of few communities that owns property outside the city limits, expressing the need for a higher volume community center and an excuse for people to hop off Highway 101. 

“Another large milestone for us, as a city, was getting the voters to approve the chart for design build,” Forbis said. “We’re going to see the benefit from that chart move quickly from a concept of design, to getting shovels dug into the ground.”

Forbis iterated the need for expensive buildings, as cheaper built structures are harder to maintain, calling it a high value in the purchase. 

Forbis said planning is underway, and council already approved traffic flow improvements on Monterey Road that would have had to be completed regardless due to the ice rink and traffic increase.

The next goal for the city is the construction bid, which will be determined later this year. Forbis said the bids would display further information on costly matters. 

The construction is projected to be a 12-18 month project that could be completed by the fall of 2026, according to the San Jose Sharks.

Forbis confirmed the city would turn operation of the entire facility and concessions over to the San Jose Sharks through a lease agreement. A request for qualifications will be on the agenda for the council at their next meeting, said Blankley.

Blankley was “pleased” when speaking. She referenced that the Sharks would be leasing through the City of Gilroy at “next to no cost—they are operating it, they’re making payments on bonds to fund construction,” Blankley said.

A taxable municipal revenue bond will be taken out by the city to cover construction costs. Taxpayers will be protected by a two year letter of credit provided by Sharks Sports Entertainment worth $4 million over the 30 year bond, according to city officials.

“The next steps are to prepare for the bid. Council’s next role will be a construction contract later this year,” Forbis finished.

With that being said, the city will be putting together a Request for Qualifications which will be the first step in the design/build process

Hilton asked at the meeting for the assurance of inspections by city staff as the project moves forward. A priority is to ensure the taxpayers’ dollars are protected, Hilton said. 

Hilton also referenced other times when such assurances were uncovered, “when projects are already built years later; that happened in Monterey.” 

“My concern…is that the contractors will use apprentices and participate in the state’s certified apprenticeship program,” Hilton said. “Does the general contractor provide a history of healthcare for workers? And is there a local higher priority? By creating a floor to protect our workers, we can cultivate a workforce of workers who can thrive and invest back into our community.” 

Council member Rebeca Armendariz piggybacked with council member Hilton, reinstating the need to protect workers, policies, local workforce and professional workers.

Another aspect of the project is a “public benefit” agreed between the San Jose Sharks and the city of Gilroy, stating the facility will offer free after school programs at the convenience of 5,000 at-risk children every year.

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8 COMMENTS

  1. Here is a general breakdown of the costs of some of the essential pieces of hockey equipment for a child:

    Helmet: $50-$100
    Shoulder pads: $20-$50
    Elbow pads: $15-$30
    Shin pads: $20-$40
    Gloves: $20-$40
    Skates: $50-$150
    Stick: $30-$75
    In total, you can expect to spend anywhere from $200 to $780 on hockey equipment for a child.

    Sounds like ice rink in Gilroy will only be for the rich.

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    • Gorden- Sharks Sports Entertainment and City of Gilroy understand the demographics of the local region and reponded to several public groups asking for a public benefit to those that can’t afford to play the sport. We responed by ensuring an aspect of the project is a “public benefit” agreed between the San Jose Sharks and the city of Gilroy, stating the facility will offer free after school programs at the convenience of 5,000 at-risk children every year.

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    • Don’t forget the $600 tuition for one season of hockey let alone adults who also want to play in the ever increasing city of Gilroy…..

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  2. Who in the world who lives in Gilroy-both adults and children, can afford to play to hockey and/or even go ice skating? It’s currently $16 for 1 person just to ice skate at Solar4America in SJ. Gilroy has been the place for low-income individuals/families who commute North. People from neighboring areas like Hollister, Los Banos, and Watsonville are also and always have been low-income-they are NOT driving to Gilroy to play hockey/ice skate. Realistically, who is the demographic for this aside from affluent Morgan Hill? Will Gilroy residents be getting a discount? The city of Gilroy would have been better off creating a official pump track to replace the one they destroyed years ago due to one teenager having to be air lifted.

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      • and with 6-7% interest rates, $127/year still considered living in poverty, they still can’t afford gear and $600/season for hockey, lol

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  3. Looking forward to this. Always wanted to learn how to ice skate and get my kids involved in hockey!

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