Watertown’s Ice Arena finally “breaks the ice”

WATERTOWN, S.D. (KELO) — After years of building and planning, the city of Watertown is finally opening its new ice arena.

The finishing touches are going up at the Prairie Lakes Ice Arena, as it prepares to host its first hockey games this weekend. For people who work at the ice complex, finally seeing the arena finished is very exciting.

“So this has been in the works for many, many years. It finally came to fruition in 2021. And the the first panel went up for this ice arena February 12th of last year. And so it’s been an exciting time seeing that build over the course of this last year,” says Ice Arena Manager Scott Gloe.

The 36 and a half million dollar facility is made for hockey and figure skaters, but also reaches a wider range of people.

“There’s some great meeting rooms, party rooms, if you will. If somebody wants to come out here and have a meeting and watch what’s happening on the ice, there’s open skate for the community,” says City Manager Amanda Mack.

“We have a contingent of Watertown people who love curling. So there’s going to be curling here,” says Mayor Ried Holien.

The city also approved plans to bring a National American Hockey League junior team to town.

“We’re not like some of the other cities in South Dakota that have a college where people can go to the university games for basketball, for football. So Watertown is going to really benefit from having a junior team because it gives people something to rally behind, something to identify as a community,” says Holien.

As the Prairie Lakes Ice Arena becomes the new ‘ice’ for Watertown.

The Watertown Lakers boys team will play the first games in the arena February 23-24.