The Brainerd City Council has spent an awful lot of time talking about the Brainerd Area Civic Center ice arenas in recent weeks. Opinions are plentiful on how it should be run and what improvements are needed.
The talk hasn't always produced clarity on the issue. A case in point is that a previously scheduled discussion on the topic was put off until the city attorney can determine which entity actually owns the newer Gold Medal Arena - the city or Brainerd Amateur Hockey Association.
Not wanting to be left out of what we hope will be a productive idea session, the Brainerd Dispatch would like to toss out a few notions of its own.
The Brainerd Area Civic Center is a public asset. It's the home of hockey games for a variety of skill levels, figure skating, expositions, and commerce and industry shows.
It adds to our quality of life, in the same manner that Gregory Park or Bane Park make Brainerd a more attractive city.
The civic center should be run as efficiently as possible and generate a reasonable amount of revenue to defer expenses. It may not necessarily generate a profit, just as city parks don't generate a profit.
The two ice arenas were built without any initial investment by the city of Brainerd.
The many ice show and hockey events bring dollars and people into the area. It showcases our young people and often serves as the city's front porch, providing visitors' introduction and first impression to Brainerd.
With those humble contributions to the upcoming civic center discourse, we'll now skate off the ice.
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