Edina, Minn., Nov. 8, 2023 – On Tuesday, Edina voters approved a referendum to use collections from the City’s half-percent sales tax to invest $25.3 million to expand Braemar Arena and complete other major improvements at the facility.
Under the plan, the South Rink at Braemar Arena will be demolished to allow the building of two new ice rinks, resulting in a total of four indoor rinks and one outdoor seasonal rink at the arena. Other major upgrades will include the construction of a safer drop-off and pick-up area, a new and larger lobby and additional parking.
“This is a major investment in our historic arena, which will help us meet growing demand for ice time in Edina,” said Parks & Recreation Director Perry Vetter.
One of the busiest ice arenas in Minnesota, Braemar Arena hosts approximately 500,000 visitors every year from 158 Minnesota communities and 12 states. Due to high demand, Edina residents often must travel across the Twin Cities metro area to participate in hockey and skating activities.
“These improvements to Braemar Arena will benefit our community as a whole,” said City Manager Scott Neal. “We appreciate every Edina resident who participated in this important decision.”
The Braemar Arena expansion plan will not change the current sales tax rate or extend the tax beyond its 19-year authorization. Approximately 54 percent of the sales tax increase will be paid by nonresidents, according to an analysis by the University of Minnesota. That means nonresidents will contribute approximately $13.7 million toward the cost of the Braemar Arena expansion through the sales tax.
The Braemar Arena expansion is the second part of a comprehensive $64.6 million plan to invest in Braemar Parks and Arena and Fred Richards Park. The City of Edina has maintained an informational website – EdinaAtPlay.org – where residents can learn more about the projects.