No action taken on Neilson Reise Arena during Council Meeting

The Bemidji City Council discussed the Neilson Reise Arena during their meeting Monday, amid speculation that the arena is closed permanently.

No action on the arena was taken during the meeting Monday.

The arena has been closed since March due to COVID-19.

Parks and Rec Director Marcia Larson was absent from the meeting, and the item was added to the agenda during the meeting by newly-elected Ward 2 council member Josh Peterson.

During discussion, Ward 1 council member Michael Meehlhause said that the council has not made a policy decision that would permanently close the arena, and the rumors of such are false.

Ward 5 council member Nancy Erickson said that even while the arena is closed, the arena is running a deficit, and asked how much the taxpayers should be expected to subsidize ice-time for hockey players and figure skaters.

The council, in other business, approved the Bemidji Volunteer Firefighter Association pension benefit, and held a public hearing on the 2021 fee schedule.


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!

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