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Donation to be used to fix Long Beach Ice Arena

The Ice Arena in Long Beach. (April 15,

The Ice Arena in Long Beach. (April 15, 2012) Credit: Ian J. Stark

Long Beach Ice Arena, a nearly 40-year-old hub of activity hit hard by superstorm Sandy, will soon be refurbished.

The 32,500-square-foot arena will receive a new refrigeration system, new ice and flooring, a new ice resurfacing machine and electrical repairs through a $25,000 donation from the New York Rangers and Chase bank, city spokesman Gordon Tepper said.

The grant arrives at a time when the cash-poor city has struggled to reopen the arena, which has been closed since Sandy. The arena lost its flooring system and suffered damage to its refrigeration and electrical system after 4 feet of water flooded the building.

The city does not have a timetable for its reopening, but the donation will help, Tepper said.

"It's going to be a brand new, fabulous ice arena," Tepper said. "Their donation will go a long way."

The Rangers decided to help refurbish the arena in part because of the 800-seat facility's significance to the club's history, Chase and the Rangers said in a statement. The team practiced at the arena in the 1970s.

When the arena reopens, it will allow a new generation of hockey fans to "learn the game of hockey and hone their skills," said Howard Jacobs, executive vice president of marketing and sales for MSG Sports, which owns the Rangers.

Long Beach owns and operates the 39-year-old bayfront facility, which served as a recovery hub and aid distribution center after Sandy.

The Rangers and Chase are also restoring Playland Ice Casino in Rye.

The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Rangers, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.

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