Tucsons last indoor public ice rink closed more than 15 years ago. That left limited space for the Old Pueblos hockey community.

Their biggest goal could soon be a reality, thanks to the Mosaic Quarter sports complex development, which is being planned for the area next to Kino Sports Complex South.

The development would include a three-rink Iceplex, which would host University of Arizona hockey teams, as well as local youth and adult leagues.

Its a welcome sight for Jennifer Colbus and her daughter Willow, who dont hide their love for hockey.

They have sticks stacked in the living room and a practice net and ice outside.

Willow went from a youth player to winger for Grand Canyon University.

A lot of people go, Hockey in the desert? Well, you, know, kids are the same in the desert as they are in the North, said Jennifer. They wanna play fun sports. And doing it inside where its 50 degrees is a lot better than 105 outside.

But in order to play on an all-girls youth team over the years, Willow had to travel up to phoenix for practices and games, 4 times a week.

Two of our friends ended up moving to Phoenix because of hockey, said Jennifer. They just didnt want to deal with the drive anymore.

The Iceplex could eliminate that barrier to entry for girls youth hockey in Tucson. It would also give adult players more opportunities to play.

Were really, really, really excited about it. Cant come soon enough, said Danny Plattner, who co-founded the Tucson Adult Hockey League, which rents ice time from the Tucson Convention Center. That time can be limited.

[TCC is] trying to book events around the Roadrunners schedule. Totally understand that, Plattner told KGUN. But as result, we can go weeks and months without ice Most cities around the country, most areas have year-round ice. We dont have it.

As Jennifer sayshaving a local indoor ice rink year-round could lead to more Tucsonans trying hockey.

We have a pretty big local community thats been fighting hard for ice, for a long time, she said.

A fight they could end up winning in the coming years.



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