City to Become Interim Manager of Mystique Community Ice Center
Marie Ware, Leisure Services Manager
Sept. 2, 2021 -- For Immediate Release
DUBUQUE, Iowa – Effective Sunday, Sept. 5, the City of Dubuque will become the interim manager of the Mystique Community Ice Center on Chaplain Schmitt Island. This transition of management follows the June decision of the Dubuque Community Ice & Recreation, Inc. (DICE) to relinquish its leasehold rights for the facility.
The ice center, located at 1800 Admiral Sheehy Drive, opened in September 2010. It was designed, developed, and built under a development agreement between DICE, the City, the Dubuque Racing Association (DRA), and Battlefield Dubuque, LLC, which later transferred and assigned its interest to Northern Lights Hockey, LLC, which owns the Dubuque Fighting Saints. The facility is owned by the City and was leased in a 25-year agreement to DICE, the 501(c)3 non-profit organization that raised all funds to build the ice arena. DICE has managed and operated the facility since it opened.
Under the terms of the development agreement, when the lease was terminated by DICE, the City notified DRA and Northern Lights Hockey. The agreement then required the City to first offer the DRA the right to enter into a new lease on the same terms and conditions for the remainder of the lease term. The DRA declined.
Because the DRA declined, the development agreement then required the City to make the same offer to Northern Lights Hockey. Northern Lights Hockey requested additional time to consider. To maintain operations at the ice arena during this process, the City entered into an interim management agreement with DICE that will terminate 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021.
“The ice center is a year-round recreational asset to the community and to this region. September marks the beginning of a very busy season at the center. The City has committed to interim management of the facility in the coming months to allow the activities and events of Dubuque Youth Hockey Association, Dubuque Youth Hockey Association (DYHA), Dubuque Figure Skating Academy, Fossils Adult Hockey League, Sr. Saints Adult Hockey, Dubuque Fighting Saints, UW-Platteville Hockey, Loras College Club Hockey, open skating opportunities, and more,” said City of Dubuque Leisure Services Manager Marie Ware. “This interim management will allow the opportunity to explore every option for the continued and future operations of Mystique Community Ice Center.”
The City is reaching out to current user groups to notify them of this change and will operate the facility until a long-term solution is finalized. Current DICE employees will be hired by the City to continue their work at the facility. The City will also review and address maintenance issues during the interim management period.
# # #