Prince George’s two top hockey teams are without homes for the time being, as Prince George City Council voted to keep the CN Centre, Rolling Mix Concrete Arena, and Elksentre closed for the remainder of 2020.

After a meeting spanning just over four hours, Mayor and Council elected to re-open the three Kin Centres.

The Kins will be open to the public on August 17.

The decisions, carried unanimously, come two weeks after the announcement that all four arenas would be closed indefinitely to offset costs incurred as COVID-19 continues.

The Prince George Cougars are scheduled to begin their season on October 2nd, with the Spruce Kings following suit in December.

Phase Three doesn’t allow for five on five hockey, however skills training is permitted with physical distancing measures.

Prince George will be saving roughly $630,000 by keeping the arenas closed.

Councilor Kyle Sampson voiced his support for keeping the arenas closed for the time being, but wants to revisit the possibility of reopening them in the near future, depending on how long BC finds itself in Phase Three.

The cost recovery for the three Kins would be 37 per cent with the remaining 63 per cent subsidized by the city and offset by taxpayers.

“It does make the challenge of the 2021 tax levy greater but there’s no wrong answer here it’s just a matter of how we can pay for it and as long as we can figure that out we are good,” noted City staff Adam Davy in his report to council.

The Civic and Conference Centre and the Four Seasons pool will also keep their doors closed for the remainder of the year.

The Aquatic Centre will reopen on September 8th on a limited basis, with multiple Councilors stressing the importance of access to the pool for things like surgery rehabilitation.

Council voted 6-3 to reopen the facility, with Mayor Lyn Hall and Councilors Garth Frizzell and Sampson taking exception.

There will be a maximum of 40 swimmers per two-hour blocks.

Admission fees for the pool could see a jump as well; under new regulations, the subsidy per visit jumps to $57 compared to the normal amount of $7.