Women's Olympic hockey fans can expect at least a bronze medal contest at the Ice Arenas at Seven Peaks during the 2002 Winter Games.
The third- and fourth-place teams will play their final game at the $12 million venue under construction in southeast Provo, said Caroline Shaw, Salt Lake Organizing Committee spokeswoman.Local officials never expected much more than that when SLOC first tabbed Seven Peaks as an Olympic site.
"I never had any hopes of gold," said Mayor Lewis Billings, chairman of the Provo City/Utah County Ice Sheet Authority, adding a SLOC official had promised at medal game from the outset. "We suspected that would be a bronze medal game."
The Seven Peaks arena will contain two side-by-side ice sheets. The recreational rink on the south side is scheduled to open Nov. 16. The other rink, which will have seating for 8,500 spectators, will follow early next year.
The location for the gold and silver medal games has yet to be decided, Shaw said. The E Center in West Valley City and the Delta Center in Salt Lake City, both of which seat more than Seven Peaks, are likely possibilities. Both venues, however, will be busy with men's hockey, figure skating and short-track speedskating.
The overall sports schedule is due to the International Olympic Committee in December for approval.
The ice sheet authority also is looking to finance at least $70,000 in unanticipated costs in the venue. They include extending a sewer line to four multipurpose rooms, a warming wall for observers and tempered glass rather than acrylic to top the main rink's dasher boards. The multipurpose areas could be converted to locker or training rooms that would require sewer lines, Billings said.
The mayor said those items are necessary to build a quality facility.
The Utah Sports Authority recently gave the ice sheet authority $100,000 to make those improvements and buy additional permanent seating for the arenas. The ice sheet authority had requested $150,000.