|(Credit: Andy Nietupski/Texas Stars)|
100 Degree Hockey reached out to the owner of Chaparral Ice, Ryan Raya, this morning. We caught up this afternoon.
"We're super excited about it," said Raya. "It's been about four years in the making since I moved to Austin."
Raya sees Austin as being very much like Washington, DC, where he lived before moving to central Texas: a hockey hotbed waiting to happen if there were just more ice in town. He purchased the Chaparral Ice 18 months ago but began exploring ice options in Cedar Park a year before that. The current effort is a joint project between Eric Perardi and Chaparral Ice.
"[The Texas Stars] know the project is going on, and we made them aware that it was going on a few years ago. However, there hasn't been any stars money or effort behind this."
Texas practices at the Chaparral Ice at Anderson and Burnet now, and Raya assumes Texas will start practicing at a facility around the corner if it's available once the construction is done. Ground breaking could happen as soon as this fall.