Former Lightning John Tucker has partnered with Dave Beaudin, Hugo Belanger and his team to open a new ice rink called X-tra Ice at 6910 Asphalt Ave., in Tampa, and apparently it has been open for awhile.
From what the website shows and the schedule displayed, this isn't for figure skaters, so thank the hockey gods for the reduction in divets from toe picks. It appears to be primarily a training rink for elite hockey players, even at a young age, but they are also providing instruction for beginners and learn-to-play, have stick and puck time and also have leagues for both kids and adults. The adult league sounds like a modified pick-up game, which on some days would be better anyway.
But, I'm left scratching my head a bit on the marketing/advertising plan.
I play in a league in Oldsmar and do pick-up in Ellenton, and this rink has never came up in conversations with anyone, so I'm surprised how there would be so little (if any) advertising for a new ice rink—especially after and during a lockout. It appears from photos on the rink's Facebook page that the rink might have opened between late September and early November. Even during great times, hockey rinks struggle to thrive out of the gate. Maybe if I had a kid playing I would know, but a local high school hockey coach had no idea it exists. I found out about it while on the Hockey Community iPhone app.
While it's great the hockey community is showing demand in Tampa with a new rink (plus a second sheet to come in Clearwater), I'm a little perplexed at the approach for now. But hey, who's up for a game?