The Rockford Park District held a news conference today to recognize and thank the public/private stakeholders who came forward to support keeping Riverview Ice House, 324 N. Madison Street, Rockford, open. 

Riverview Ice House is 46 years old and well beyond its life span, with the current refrigeration system and required components needed to run the system becoming obsolete. Roughly $6 million was needed to completely replace the mechanical/refrigeration system, hockey boards, and glass, and to complete additional renovations needed throughout the facility. 

Last fall, the District announced that a sustainable revenue stream was needed to help offset the heavy tax subsidy needed to operate two ice facilities – Riverview Ice House, and Carlson Ice Arena in Loves Park. 

Results from a community-wide survey in 2018 revealed that community members wanted fewer tax dollars going to more individual benefit facilities such as ice facilities. The District has used that feedback to prioritize limited operational and capital dollars, and continues working to reduce its footprint and free up resources to invest more in community-wide benefit areas such as neighborhood parks, youth programs, paths, and trails. 

Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman led efforts to secure an Illinois Capital Grant for $2.5 million, which will help cover almost half the costs needed to renovate Riverview Ice House. “I want Riverview Ice House to remain an important tourism destination for our region, a vital economic anchor for our urban core, and a popular recreational option for families.

“Making the upgrades necessary to keep Riverview open protects the millions of dollars in public and private investments that have fed our downtown renewal over the last 20 years. Without a prosperous downtown, long-term economic growth for the entire region is in jeopardy,” said Illinois State Senator Steve Stadelman.

The District will cover the remaining $3.5 million needed for capital repair costs by taking out a bond to pay for the capital needs over a period of time. 

Heather and Peter Provenzano will generously provide $1,000,000 ($100,000 per year over 10 years) to be used to help offset the tax subsidy utilized to run Riverview Ice House. In honor of the Provenzano family’s generous support, the District has started a new charitable fund through the Rockford Park District Foundation named the “Provenzano Family Skating Fund.” The fund will provide financial support to area youth who want to skate and will help cover participation costs, equipment needs, travel expenses, and outreach. 

“I am happy to announce that our family is donating $25,000 on top of our additional pledge and I challenge anyone else in the community to make a donation. This new fund will introduce even more youth in our community to the skating sports we all love and help keep them active and engaged in positive experiences. We look forward to working with the Rockford Park District as we transform Riverview Ice House into a truly modern facility,” said Peter Provenzano, Save Riverview Ice House.  

Anyone interested in giving to the “Provenzano Family Skating Fund” can donate online at or text “SKATING” to 50155. 

The District has also received financial support from the Koch family to go toward Riverview Ice House operations. 

“Thank you, Senator Stadelman, for all your efforts in Springfield to ensure that the District received a multi-million dollar grant to help cover renovation expenses. Thank you to Heather and Peter Provenzano, along with the Koch family, for providing sustainable operational support that was key to keeping both rinks open.

“We also appreciate the public and private stakeholders who formed the Save Riverview group and advocated heavily for this facility to remain open for future generations to enjoy and to continue serving as an economic driver for downtown Rockford.  Riverview Ice House is more than just a place to skate and play hockey,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine.

“As a co-leader of the Save Riverview Ice House effort, I could not be prouder of the way the skating community, business leaders, elected officials, and the Rockford Park District came together to support renovating our beloved, historic, and still dynamic ice sports treasure. We cannot wait for opening day #2, more than 45 years after the first,” stated Jay Graham, Save Riverview Ice House/ GrahamSpencer.

APEX Facility Solutions, SBC, will be in Rockford to gather input from various key stakeholders to begin the design phase of the project.  Phase One of the project includes the design of the building renovations, construction of the ice system mechanicals, and ice rink amenities (dasher boards, glass, concrete base floors, etc.) for both rinks inside Riverview Ice House. Phase Two of the project includes painting, flooring, locker rooms, restrooms, concessions, windows, roofing, HVAC, plumbing, lighting, exterior landscaping, and construction management.  Final design plans will be shared at a later date, and renovations to Riverview Ice House will officially begin next spring. 

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