Surrey’s landmark Central City Arena will close for good at the end of June, ending an era of roller skating and other sports in a building once known as Stardust.
The lease is up for the Vilio brothers, who operate the arena, and they’re looking to open a similar facility in the Show Barn building at Cloverdale Fairgrounds.
The final roller hockey tournament was played at Central City Arena over the weekend, and a final public skate will be held Saturday, June 23 at the City Parkway building, at 102nd Avenue.
The development company WestStone Group, which wants to build a 50-storey “GEC Education Mega Center” tower on the site, has given arena operators lease extensions over the past year.
“We have to thank the WestStone Group for extending the lease for us, and giving us a chance to find a new location, and also the City of Surrey for helping us out with the new location, if we move there,” Steve Vilio, who operates the arena with his brothers Erik and Glen, told the Now-Leader on Sunday.
“It’s time,” added Erik. “We decided we’re not going to continue past June here, rather than ask for another couple of months going into summer now, it’s a good time to end here, and they’re ready to go, too, so it’s good timing for everyone.”
The building has operated as Central City Arena for the past eight years. Until 2010, five years after the fabled Stardust sign was removed, the space was a Liquidation World store.
At Cloverdale Fairgrounds, the Vilios have their eyes on the 18,000-square-foot Show Barn, located near the larger Agriplex building.
Said Steve Vilio: “There are some extensive renovations that are needed, for the building to work for us, which we’re responsible to pay for, so right now, we’re checking to see if it’s feasible, if it’ll work. It looks promising, and we’re hoping to move there. We’ll know in a couple of weeks.”
If things move forward, a target opening date is “November or December,” he added. “The renovations mean taking the asphalt out and putting cement in, taking the pillars from the middle of the building and putting them to the sides, so it’s all clear-span in the middle. It’s hard to find a building without pillars, one that’s big enough, and parking, all that.”
At Central City Arena, a final “Stardust” skate was held last July, as part of an event series planned by Downtown Surrey BIA and WestStone Group.
Last weekend, the roller hockey tournament saw winners crowned in four age divisions. The 8-and-Under trophy went to Oregon Titans, the 10-and-Under division title went to Central City Stars, the 12-and-Under hardware was won by Oregon Titans, and the Adult division saw Langley Rink Rats top Central City Eagles in the final.