OGDEN — In a move to bolster Utah’s potential bid to host the Winter Olympics in a decade, Weber County officials have taken the baby step of approving a $150,000 study into the possibility of upgrading the Ice Sheet.
The county-owned ice rink, located on the Weber State University campus in Ogden, held curling competitions during the 2002 Winter Olympics, hosted by Salt Lake City. As state leaders weigh the possibility of making a bid for the 2030 or 2034 Olympics, the study, using state money, aims to determine if upgrades to the Ice Sheet are feasible and how much they’d cost.
Senate Bill 3 in 2019 includes the $150,000 earmark for the Ice Sheet as well as $150,000 for the Peaks Ice Arena in Provo. Peaks was also a venue during the 2002 games, hosting ice hockey games, according to the city of Provo website.
The contract between Weber County and the Utah Department of Administrative Services spells out the purpose of the $150,000 and the study it’s to fund: “Architectural, engineering and design proposal for Ice Sheet expansion/remodel in anticipation of Olympic bid and future use.” County commissioners on Tuesday signed off on the deal with the state allocating the funds.
If the Ice Sheet were to be used for the Olympics, County Commissioner Gage Froerer presumes it would be used again for curling. The proposed expansion to be the focus of the feasibility study would be an off-ice training facility to the north of the existing complex, he said.
According to The Associated Press, Utah officials last month identified the organizing committee that will look into the possibility of a Utah Olympic bid and, if so, whether to make a pitch for the 2030 or 2034 games.
Ice Sheet officials didn’t immediately respond to queries seeking comment.