Peaks Ice Arena is an indoor ice hockey arena in Provo, Utah, United States, located 43 miles (69 km) south of Salt Lake City. It was built, along with the E Center in West Valley City, Utah, to serve as an ice hockey and practice venue for the 2002 Winter Olympics. It currently serves as the home of the BYU Cougar men's ice hockey team, Peaks Youth Hockey Association, and several high school teams.
Provo was chosen as the site for an Olympic venue because the leaders of Utah County refused to support Utah's 1989 Olympic referendum unless they were promised at least one Olympic event would be held in the county. Originally county leaders wanted a speed skating oval built somewhere in Provo or on the campus of Utah Valley University; others suggested the game's Closing Ceremony could be held at Brigham Young University's football stadium. After the 1989 Olympic referendum passed, and Salt Lake City lost its 1991 bid to host the 1998 Winter Olympics, the Utah Sports Authority and Provo City decided to wait until Salt Lake City bid again for the 2002 Winter Olympics before any venue planning would start.
After Salt Lake City won the 2002 Olympic bid in 1995, planning began again for what venue Utah County could host. It was decided that the city of Provo would host the venue, but that it would only be a practice ice sheet, mostly like to be built in the planned Provo Towne Centre Mall. Eventually plans changed and a larger, yet still only a practice ice facility, was planned to be constructed near Provo's East Bay Golf Course. Utah County, Provo, and SLOC all okayed the plans and committed to building the $7.7 million facility.
But in July 1996, before construction had started, the owners of Provo's Seven Peaks Waterpark approached the city and asked that the arena be built on the park's property, and Seven Peaks would pay for an additional ice sheet to be constructed in the same building. The plan was approved by county officials October 14, 1996, with Provo paying $2 million, Utah County $2 million, SLOC $3 million, and Seven Peaks donating land for the arena and parking spaces. Valentiner, Crane, Brunjes, Onyon Architecture was chosen to design the arena.
The Arena Today
The arena is home to the Peaks Figure Skating Club, where figure skaters can come together and enjoy one another while progressing within their sport. The arena also serves as home ice for the ACHA collegiate hockey team of Brigham Young University, and high school teams including Timpanogos, Utah County Independent, Lehi, Payson, Spanish Fork and Springville, as well as the Peaks Youth Hockey Association. The arena is open to the public for ice skating, skating lessons, and can even be used for indoor soccer games.