[UPDATE by Brandon Worley, 09/15/09 5:52 PM EDT] Unfortunately, official word has come down from both the City of Duncanville and the Dallas Stars Hockey Club: the ice rink will be closed and will be remodeled into a basketball facility. It's an unfortunate end to a valiant fight. On Friday, Defending Big D will feature an exclusive look into what happened behind the scenes of this messy situation and take a look at what is ultimately affected the most by this outcome: the youth hockey program in Texas.
The original post is after the jump.
Last week we learned that the city of Duncanville had chosen to ahead with the conversion of the Dr Pepper Starcenter, turning the rink into Bob Knight's Fieldhouse, a basketball and volleyball facility. An AP story was released that detailed this planned conversion, touting how great a decision it is to make a new basketball facility in the city. Yet this was devastating news to hockey players in Southern Dallas and Tarrant Counties, and caused outrage among fans and players. Their fight to stop the conversion and save the rink had failed, despite admirable work by hundreds of people determined to save the Starcenter. A website was started (SupportOurDuncanvilleRink.com), and the public was made aware of what was happening, including video of the meeting, Despite all of this, Duncanville decided to continue on with their plans.
Today, Defending Big D has learned that all may not be lost. The Dallas Stars organization, with direct and personal involvement by team president Jeff Cogen, has decided to try one final time to sway the city's decision. There is a city council meeting scheduled for tonight at 7 p.m. in Duncanville, where there will be a vote on whether to allow the Stars to amend their lease agreement and continue operating the rink in Duncanville.
There are many, many more layers to this issue, and Defending Big D will have an exclusive story tomorrow on what has happened behind the scenes to lead us to this point.
For now, you can do your part and show your unwavering support for hockey in Texas by showing up at the meeting tonight. If you live in Duncanville, Cedar Hill, Midlothian, Mansfield, DeSoto, Mesquite or anywhere nearby please go if you can. This is vital to the continued growth of hockey in North Texas, and the loss of this ice rink will severely hurt the future of the sport in the area.
For more information, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.