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Sports

An ice rink for Pasco?

By CHUIN-WEI YAP
Published April 20, 2007


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Oldsmar businessman Dave Beaudin hopes to build an ice rink in central Pasco County for skaters and hockey players who now must travel 25 miles to compete.

Beaudin hopes to persuade Pasco County officials to help with an estimated $10-million price tag to build the "Pasco Ice Pavilion."

Beaudin, 42, runs the Beaudin Hockey Zone Skate Shop at Oldsmar's Tampa Bay Skating Academy with his father, Norm Beaudin, an 18-year veteran of pro hockey who skated for the NHL's St. Louis Blues and the old Minnesota North Stars.

In Pasco, Beaudin's selling point is a facility that could draw hockey players and figure skaters, young and old, from Pasco, Hernando and northern Hillsborough counties.

The only public rinks in the Tampa Bay area are in Brandon and Oldsmar, he said. Each is roughly 25 miles from central Pasco.

"Kids from Hernando high schools have to go through Pasco, Hillsborough and Pinellas just to get to Oldsmar to play," he said. "This is a way to keep kids in Pasco and that's our vision."

Pasco officials are listening.

Beaudin has 8 acres under contract at Tower Road and U.S. 41 in Land O'Lakes, according to county records. That's where he plans to put the rink, he said.

In late March, after a five-year debate, Pasco's County Commission approved $7.9-million to build a tennis stadium in central Pasco, with the backing of the tourism development council.

"We'd be ready to stick a shovel in the ground and get it going faster than the tennis center," Beaudin said.

"We have baseball, football and tennis, but no hockey. We think this is going to be a niche."

[Last modified April 19, 2007, 07:20:41]


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