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SNEAK PEEK: INSIDE THE NEW ION INTERNATIONAL SKATING CENTER

The skating center in Leesburg is holding a grand opening June 15-16.

The new Ion International Training Center ice skating facility at Compass Creek in Leesburg is just about ready.

Ice is being put down on the rinks at this very moment, equipment is being installed and locals could be skating there by early next week.

This is actually a concrete floor that they are cleaning and lowering the temperature on slowly. Once it’s the right temp, they will begin icing it.

The plan is to open the facility to local skaters for “open skate” times starting next week — possibly as soon as Monday. Follow Ion on social media for the latest on when this starts. This open skating will run until June 10 when summer camp programs start.

The grand opening weekend is scheduled for June 15 and 16, with a slate of activities and famous stars from the world of skating.

The Burn got an exclusive tour of the new facility which includes two NHL regulation sized rinks, stadium seating for up to 3,500 people, a restaurant, multiple concession stands (including beer and wine service), fitness rooms, multiple locker rooms, meeting rooms, a dance studio and more.

This is going to be a world class facility. You know how you can tell it’s a big deal — Pepsi is printing up special Ion International Training Center cans for the grand opening.

Here are photos and captions from our tour.

The exterior of the Ion Training training center features large parking lots for future skating events as well as musical concerts, high school graduations and other community events.
The front desk that greets you when you enter through the sliding glass doors.
This is the skate rental area. By next week, those shelves will be filled with brand new pairs of skates.
While still in a bit of pre-opening disarray, this area is the Ion skating center’s bistro, where pizzas, pastas and other meals will be served. Note the window allowing folks to dine while keeping an eye on their skater out on the rink.
Tables and a dining bar line the windows into one of the center’s two NHL rinks.
Part of the center’s large kitchen facility, including a three-tiered pizza oven.
One of at least three concession stands in the facility that will serve drinks and snacks.
The Ion skating center is full-service facility, with multiple locker rooms for hockey teams and skaters, fitness rooms, even study rooms for student athletes. Here is a picture of the dance/ballet room where skaters can work on choreography. There is a sound system and mirrors will be installed on the walls.
One of the center’s two rinks is surrounded by large bleachers. Up to 3,500 fold-down seats will be installed over the next few weeks.
Work crews unloading some of the thousands of fold-down seats that just arrived at the Ion International Training Center.
The scoreboard over one of the ice rinks at Ion. It goes up and down on cables for easy access.
One of the penalty boxes where hockey players will do time during games.
The second of Ion’s two rinks — this one actually has a layer of ice on it already. While it’s rough and uneven at the moment, more layers will be added and the ice will be smoothed over.
Here are the center’s two “ice resurfacing machines” which keep the ice in top skating condition. These are known colloquially as Zamboni machines, which is actually a brand name.
A behind-the-scenes peek at some of the equipment that helps keep the two rinks at the right icy temperature.
A panoramic view of the Ion International Training Center.
1 Comment
  1. Scott Gammans 4 years ago
    Reply

    I had no idea this was even coming! How cool (literally)!

    Should we read anything into the fact of that 3,500-seat rink? Are we getting an AHL or ECHL minor league team??

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