The Bemidji City Council will discuss the future of the Neilson Reise Arena during their work session this evening.
While no formal action is typically taken during work sessions, City Manager Nate Mathews says staff is seeking council input after receiving word that the Bemidji Community Arena plans to open their new “Sanford Power” ice sheet for summer use.
The Neilson Reise has historically been used as a year-round facility, providing summer ice, but at this time the future of the arena is unclear.
Due to revenue uncertainties from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a new sheet of ice in the Bemidji ice market and the absence of funding for the 54-year-old facility, it has not yet been determined if the Neilson Reise will remain closed temporarily or permanently.
The BCAC, according to Mathews’ memo, hopes “the city and school district as ice owners could cooperate, coordinate, and potentially directly or indirectly provide support to them this summer and in the short term.”