The Pond Ice Arena now has new owners and a new name.
Alex Bohatiuk and Mark Cardillo, who have run a hockey team based there for 17 years, recently purchased the arena and renamed it The Patriot Ice Center.
“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” Cardillo said. “It’s the next step in continuing a landmark in our community and furthering our mission of creating access for everyone who wants to try out skating or hockey on any level.”
He said previous owner Bob Campbell quietly put the business on the market, and Cardillo decided to join forces with Bohatiuk to purchase it.
“We see value,” he said. “We see a program that’s good and can be great.”
Built in 1996, the arena located off Marrows Road features two rinks, one built to Olympics specifications and one built to NHL specifications.
The arena’s main draw is hockey, Cardillo said. It is home to a number of youth and adult hockey leagues and also hosts high school hockey games, including the Newark High School team.
The arena also hosts figure skaters — among its claims to fame was serving as a training base for two-time Olympian Johnny Weir — as well as public skate sessions, skating camps for kids and the Diamond State Curling Club.
The arena serves 1,000 hockey players, and approximately 350,000 people come through the doors each year, Cardillo said.
He said he plans to make some needed facilities upgrades but intends to keep the programs and activities the same with only slight modifications.
The new name comes from the Pond Patriots, a youth hockey team based at the arena. Cardillo said he hopes the rebranding creates “a new feeling of energy.”