Hockey players talk importance of Bogert Park after partial roof collapse

Posted at 3:37 PM, Mar 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-20 18:58:51-04

BOZEMAN – The future is still unknown for a Bozeman ice rink after it suffered a partial roof collapse Sunday night.

City officials say Bogert Park remains closed while engineers look into exactly what happened but that means, for now, anyone who relied on the pavilion can’t use it.

Bogert Park still sits closed following the partial collapse of the ice rink.

For decades, kids in this community have had a venue to go to, just to enjoy free hockey or other activities.

For the Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association (BAHA), though, they say this is where it all started.

“The Bozeman Stingers were here,” says Jeffrey Moore, philanthropy director of the Gallatin Ice Foundation. “The Bozeman Amateur Hockey Association started here so it really pulls at our heartstrings.”

Old photos dating back to 1981 etch out a Bozeman story that started with the shell.

Moore of the Gallatin Ice Foundation, which merged with BAHA, says the rink is the association’s origin.

“This pavilion was built in 1977 on a grant to just promote ice sports in the Gallatin Valley, providing opportunities for figure skaters and hockey enthusiasts a place in Bozeman to play,” Moore says. “There’s boards around the rink so you can actually play hockey. Those boards were developed and given to the City of Bozeman in this facility by the Amateur Hockey Association. Those are our boards. We are proud in the fact that we’ve been able to help out and contribute.”

Now a hole in the roof and caution tape spell a different story.

“It’s the birthplace of our organization,” Moore says. “BAHA was born here in 1981. All of our youth and adult players that have been here for the last 20 or 30 years, they learned here first.”

Moore says while the pavilion’s future is in question, the association could help, providing space for the informal events that still happened there.

“We’re trying to expand our rink operations about another four or five months a year, so while we wouldn’t be able to offer more during the winter, maybe we can extend the season [at Haynes Pavilion] and that’s the one thing we can offer as an organization,” Moore says.

While the next step is unknown, Moore hopes the neighborhood staple will return one way or another.

“There are kids who live in this neighborhood, in particular, who can throw their stick and skates on their shoulder and walk across the street and just walk into the pavilion and skate,” Moore says. “That’s been a resource here for nearly 40 years, so it’s a shame to see that go.”

According to the City of Bozeman, it is still unclear what exactly caused the partial collapse and what the future of the building will be.

For BAHA, they hope that future is a bright one.

Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News