Empire City ice rink will be up and running by June 19

Empire City Ice Skating Rink, which will be used for the KL SEA Games

Empire City Ice Skating Rink, which will be used for the KL SEA Games

PETALING JAYA: The wait is finally over!

After several delays, the KL SEA Games venue for ice skating and ice hockey at Empire City in Damansara Perdana will be up and running next Monday.

This was confirmed by Youth and Sports Ministry secretary-general Datuk Lokman Hakim Ali after he inspected the Olympic-size ice-skating rink yesterday.

The RM30mil facility, built with expertise from German-based company Ice Business GmbH Professional Ice Rinks, was supposed to have been ready in February.

“This is already my eighth visit and I’m very satisfied with the progress.

“It will be ready in another week’s time,” said Lokman.

“The ministry would like to thank Mammoth Empire group (project developer) for its tireless efforts to get the venue ready.

“The skating and ice hockey teams can start using the venue for their training from next Monday.

“We will let them conduct a test run and await their feedback.”

Lokman also said that the Empire City ice rink would be the first in Malaysia to be installed with a cement flooring.

Sand surface is the cheapest and fairly energy-efficient due to its good heat transfer characteristics, but the usability is limited to ice sports.

Concrete surface, on the other hand, is suitable for some special needs.

“A properly engineered cement floor will enable the venue to host more international tournaments and non-ice sports events in the future,” said Lokman.

The winter sport will make its debut at the KL Games.

A total of eight gold medals will be up for grabs in ice skating – two in figure skating and six in short track speed skating.

Ice hockey offers one gold medal.