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CHA ice rink named in honor of former Blues leader

The competition rink at the Chesterfield Hockey Association's new SportsComplex

The competition rink at the Chesterfield Hockey Association’s new SportsComplex will be named in honor of former St. Louis Blues chairman Mike Shanahan Sr.  [Chiodini Architects rendering]

The competition ice rink at the Chesterfield Hockey Association’s new SportsComplex now under construction will be named the Mike Shanahan Sr. Family Arena in memory of the former St. Louis Blues chairman who rejuvenated the local National Hockey League franchise.

In making the announcement, Mark Kraus, president of the CHA board said, “We are so pleased to honor Mike and his commitment to the St. Louis hockey community. Featuring his name in the main competition rink will help to carry on his legacy for years to come.”

Friends of Shanahan joined in an effort last year to honor him and his love for family and community. A June 6 event at Annie Gunn’s Restaurant brought those friends together with family and colleagues in an effort that raised $850,000.

In a news release on that event, the CHA thanked the Blues Alumni group, the Potthoff Family Foundation, the Davis and Clark families, Dave Webster, Thom Sehnert, Kelly Chase and Mike Kopsky for their contributions.

Mike Shanahan Sr

Former St. Louis Blues chairman Mike Shanahan Sr.

Under Shanahan’s leadership as chairman, the St. Louis Blues NHL team regained its position as a key sports attraction in the late 1980s and early 1990s, leading to the construction of a downtown arena that opened in 1994. He died at the age of 78 in January 2018.

Shanahan was president of Engineered Support Systems Inc. when city leaders asked him to head a local investment group that purchased the Blues from California businessman Harry Ornest late in 1986.

Mr. Shanahan quickly put the local team on the hockey map during the 1987-88 season when he put together the acquisition of Brett Hull from the Calgary Flames. Hull later went on a scoring rampage in the 1989-90 season when he netted 72 goals.

Chase, a St. Louis Blues alumnus, described the team’s former chairman as “one of the most considerate people I’ve ever met in the city of St. Louis.”

“He certainly was one of the most beloved owners in St. Louis Blues history,” Chase said. “Mr. Shanahan taught us all how to be considerate of fans, sponsors and our community and to treat them like family.”

The 84,000-square-foot SportsComplex in Chesterfield Valley will feature two NHL-sized rinks, seating for about 2,000 spectators, a second-floor viewing platform, locker rooms, team meeting rooms and offices.

The facility’s $21.5 million estimated cost is being funded by charitable contributions, conventional bank financing and bond revenues from the Chesterfield Valley Transportation Development District that will go for public infrastructure improvements associated with the project.

Construction began last fall and is expected to be complete by August this year.

The CHA will continue its fundraising efforts during the construction phase with a goal of generating an additional $800,000 before the grand opening later this summer.

Founded in 1995 as a not-for-profit corporation established for the development and operation of amateur youth hockey of far west St. Louis County, CHA enrolls about 400 players each season and hundreds more in spring and summer leagues.

The competition rink at the Chesterfield Hockey Association's new SportsComplex

The competition rink at the Chesterfield Hockey Association’s new SportsComplex.

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