What future for the Tours ice rink, soon to be the last in Indre-et-Loire?

No one is unaware of the disenchantment that reigns between ice rinks and environmentalist municipalities. That of Tours, however, seems determined to hang on to its own. Good news for snow sports enthusiasts, since the ice at the sports center will soon be the last in Indre-et-Loire.

After the Bourgueil ice rink which permanently closed on April 20, 2024, that of Joué-lès-Tours will follow on June 2. Two announcements two months apart which caused a stir, to the point of moving multi-medalist figure skater Philippe Candeloro.

“The ice rink clearly has a metropolitan interest”

For their part, the municipalities mention the advanced state of aging of this very energy-intensive equipment which they are no longer able to support. However, will the Tours ice rink be able to accommodate all the clubs without solutions? Nothing is less sure.

69,000

This is the number of visitors welcomed by the Tours ice rink during the 2022-2023 season. 49% in sessions open to the public, 34% by associations, 16% by schools and 1% during municipal events.

“We have no opposition in principle to welcoming the Bourgueillois or the Jocondiens. I have spoken with the town of Bourgueil, but not yet with that of Joué-lès-Tours. We learned about the closing of the ice rink in the newspaper »slips Éric Thomas.

However, the sports assistant of the City of Tours was contacted by the Jocondian ski club. “Their animation project is rather interesting, there is no reason to oppose it. » Except for the lack of available slots, as the Tours ice rink is occupied every day from 6:30 a.m. to midnight.

No downtime

“Between the two professional clubs, the reception of schools and the public sessions, there is no downtime”, continues the elected official. Hence the municipality’s desire to keep the ice rink open. She would be a factor of influence, even more so by being the last in the department

“Whether yesterday, today and tomorrow, the ice rink clearly has metropolitan interest. I remind you that it welcomes residents from all over the department. » If it does not fall under metropolitan sports facilities, the City wishes to perpetuate it, modernize it and increase its comfort.

The ice rink is of metropolitan interest according to Éric Thomas, the sports deputy for the City of Tours.
© (Photo NR, Hugues Le Guellec)

In this sense, significant work has been underway there for a year. Worth 2.2 million euros, scheduled to be delivered in September 2024, they aim to facilitate access for people with reduced mobility through the installation of an elevator.

The facade and the bar will be refreshed, a footbridge will connect the ice rink to the swimming pool and a 300 m² room, unoccupied for several years, is also being renovated. It now offers a panoramic view of the track.

“A beautiful signal”

“This quality room will be used by various associations in the Sanitas district, the Club Multi Patinage de Tours (CMPT) and the Remparts de Tours for warm-ups during competitions, but also for entertaining on match evenings,” reveals Eric Thomas.

Then, investments will continue in installments. The next one will surely concern the renovation of the locker rooms and should cost several million euros. “The last major project, the stands, dated back around ten years. With these investments, we are sending a good signal. »

With a surface area of ​​300 m², the future multifunction room offers a panoramic view of the ice rink.
© (Photo NR, Hugues Le Guellec)

The elected official makes no secret of it, the ice rink and more generally the sports center are very expensive to maintain and operate. A wound healed, in part, by the energy sobriety efforts that have been made. In 2023, they enabled the community to save €1.2 million, a third of which was spent on sports equipment.

The extension of the ice rink closure from ten to fifteen weeks will therefore be renewed this year, from mid-May. “Each week saves €7,000 in energy, Eric Thomas figure. The ice rink is a beautiful laboratory for putting our sobriety policies into motion. »

“Cold shower” for the Mona Lisas

Users of the Joué-lès-Tours ice rink, a figure skating club and another ice hockey club, did not expect to see it close so quickly. If the skates will be put in the closet pending a solution, the club remains optimistic, driven by the hope of seeing its activity absorbed by the Tours ice rink. The roller skating track is also an option being considered. “The announcement was like a cold shower. My daughters aged 18 and 10 have been figure skating there since 2009 and 2017 respectively, every day except Tuesday and Sunday. It’s a family place with a very good atmosphere,” says Gaëlle Molinari, the secretary of the Joué Sports de Glace figure skating club. It is therefore with a touch of nostalgia that the 150 licensees will experience their last gala, on May 25 and 26. A moment that promises to be memorable and “rich in emotions”.

-

-

PREV A month for LGBTIQ+ visibility in public spaces
NEXT Financially supported citizen initiatives