The Peterborough DALROD Phantoms, sponsored by Evolve Technologies, today pays homage to the 200+ fans who saved our rink and kept ice hockey in Peterborough.
Today marks the 25th anniversary of the day the rink closed back in 1993. The then owner of the arena hit a financial crisis and took exception to the business continuing past their rein. As a result, the arena was completely vandalised before the Administrators were called in.
Once the building had been taken over by the Administrators the rink was then declared “closed and not re-opening”.
Shock waves rippled through the Pirates fans and the entire UK Hockey community, on what was a dark day in Peterborough Hockey. But the coming together of our loyal and dedicated fans was the only positive action which arose from the tragic events that were unfolding.
Our community of fans were certainly not going to take this lightly or give up without a fight. An immediate meeting was organised, which was attended by officials, businesses, Administrators and of course the fans. The meeting was to begin penning and discussing a plan on how they would reopen our rink. The club received an amazing response and backing from investors, but the hard task of persuading the administrators that it was possible was the next hurdle. All the stops were pulled out and an agreement in principle was made to start the rebuild of the ice pad and its facilities, which was due to cost an estimated £300,000.
Fans gave up their time, holidays, equipment and skills and not to mention money to rebuild the rink. The 24/7 rotation of workers/security (fans) had been set up to enable the job to get done and prevent any further vandalism. The inspirational team of skilled tradesmen, club officials, players and fans defied all expectations and just 75 days after the closure, the rink re-opened on 18th December 1993.
Unfortunately, we’ve lost some of the 200 fans who contributed to this project, a project that if it had not have happened, would have seen an end of hockey in Peterborough. But there are still many of them with us, some of whom are still regular Phantoms fans today.
So please when you’re at the rink on Saturday, when we take on Hull Pirates (Face Off 7 PM), make sure you go and visit the large wooden plaque at the bottom of the stairs to the bar, which names our heroes of Peterborough Hockey, the heroes who saved our rink.
The Peterborough Phantoms organisation would like to thank each and every person who contributed in making sure we still have an ice rink and team here in Peterborough.