Earlier this month, Charlottesville residents and UVa hockey players bid farewell to the Main Street Arena after the establishment closed for good on April 2nd. Despite its struggle to stay afloat financially, the ice rink was always an active part of the community, serving as the city’s only public rink and the home venue for the University of Virginia Club Hockey teams.
On March 2nd, Jaffray Woodriff and Taliaferro Junction, LLC officially announced that the company purchased the property for $5.7 million to develop into a modern office space. The announcement came after months of speculation regarding the rink’s future.
In a press release from December, prior to the purchase, the company proposed that: “The new building will be architecturally iconic, linking West Main Street to the Downtown Mall. The building will be designed both to attract innovative companies to Charlottesville and to retain established local ventures that might otherwise leave the area.”
In another release, the company explained that the new development will be called the “Charlottesville Technology Center.”
“The development concept for this multi-use office building includes flexible space for existing local technology companies,” it read.
Although UVa Club Hockey has been impacted by the rink’s closing, some of the players on the team know that they are not the only community members affected.
Will Thrun, a first year on the team, felt that the local citizens of Charlottesville are the people that will suffer the most as a result of this loss.
“The people that it really hurts most are the people of Charlottesville,” Thrun stated. “Especially the guys who play beer league hockey every Sunday. They are devastated that they will not be able to now play at their hometown rink with their buddies on a weekly basis.”
The first year added that although the UVa team’s home stadium will not be in Charlottesville anymore, and that they will have to travel to Richmond for their home and regional games, there are some positive outcomes.
“As for UVa hockey, it is unfortunate that we won’t have a hometown crowd anymore to cheer us on. However, we are excited to now play at a nicer hockey rink and have better game times rather than 9 o’clock games on Friday and Saturday nights,” Thrun explained.
Nick Hecht, another member of the team, was concerned about how this transition would affect the future of UVa hockey.
“Losing the rink is definitely a blow to hockey at this school. The atmosphere at home games and fan turnout is always great. It’s a shame we won’t be able to win another league championship on home ice at least in the next couple years.”