After a back-and-forth over funding for a proposed expansion of the Fort Dupont Ice Arena in recent months, the DC Council is set to debate and vote on a proposal that would allocate more than $25 million to the project.
Councilmember Vincent Gray has proposed that the rink be fully funded in next year’s District budget, and the new two-rink ice arena can begin construction next year if the Council approves the proposal. Councilmembers are scheduled to review the proposal on Wednesday, with a vote scheduled for next Tuesday, May 14. Fort Dupont leaders are encouraging supporters to email DC councilmembers and encourage them to support the plan.
“The lives of over 20,000 children, primarily from Ward 7 & Ward 8, have been transformed by their participation in the rink’s Kids On Ice, Schools Skate for Fitness and other programs,” the Friends of Fort Dupont wrote in a sample councilmember email shared with RMNB. “It is a safe place to play, do school work, and dream for kids who don’t often get a break and who otherwise would never have a chance to ice skate, play hockey, and speed skate. With your support, construction of the new rink can begin within a year! Keep the rink funding in the budget!”
Though funding for the new arena was originally promised in 2014, DC Mayor Muriel Bowser in January 2019 requested to shift funds to a different use. The request triggered an outcry from the Capitals fanbase, including a tweet from MSE majority owner Ted Leonsis, who called Fort Dupont “a community treasure and a critical facility for young skaters.”
Ft. Dupont is a community treasure and a critical facility for young skaters. We hope funding can be restored for this rink that offers free figure skating, hockey and skating lessons and is the only public indoor ice arena in Washington. #FTDUPONT
— Ted Leonsis (@TedLeonsis) February 1, 2019
Bowser and Friends of Fort Dupont reached an agreement in February to restore funding in a future budget, but the agreement lacked definitive details on how it would be accomplished.
According to Friends of Fort Dupont, under Gray’s new proposal supporters will still need to raise a total of $5 million in private contributions, and they are nearing a new “triggering” benchmark of $500,000. (The previous benchmark was $3 million.) The arena’s GoFundMe campaign has already raised $440,050, thanks in part to $100,000 donations from the NHL, Monumental Sports & Entertainment, and the Leonsis family made in response to the original effort to rescind public funding.
Russian Machine Never Breaks is not associated with the Washington Capitals; Monumental Sports, the NHL, or its properties. Not even a little bit.
All original content on russianmachineneverbreaks.com is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)– unless otherwise stated or superseded by another license. You are free to share, copy, and remix this content so long as it is attributed, done for noncommercial purposes, and done so under a license similar to this one.