Östersund Arena: Special Mention 2015
Östersund Arena is a modern and versatile facility that satisfies the wishes from both the amateurs and professionals. The arena houses two large halls with artificially frozen ice rinks for hockey and figure skating, Scandinavia's best gymnastics hall and an artificially frozen bandy rink. There is also a restaurant, rooms for meetings and rooms for studying for young active. The stadium also houses many spacious and useful dressing rooms, a welcoming reception, rooms for medical care and doping control, exercise rooms and storage rooms.
Östersund Arena opened in December 2013 after a multiannual planning and construction process. The purpose of the new arena was to give local citizens, associations, schools, kindergartens and others good conditions to engage in sports, fitness and recreation to promote public health. The aim was also to create opportunities for organizing major events in sports and culture, and for all practitioners and visitors - regardless of functional capacity.
Stakeholders and citizens have played an important role throughout the planning process. It was formed three different reference groups whose task was to provide design- and construction management their perspectives and preferences on the design of Östersund Arena.
Östersund Arena has two artificially frozen ice rinks that are originally designed to meet all requirements and requests that ice sledge hockey has, for example, when it comes to boards and barrier-free passages. An inclusive approach to usability in other areas has also guided the design of the locker room, restaurant and restrooms, creating spacious, informative and convenient solutions for all.
The new Östersund Arena has, over the year it has been found, managed to increase the number of active young people in both hockey and gymnastics. Östersund Hockey Club has been able to start up an activity for girls and is getting ready to start up a sledge hockey operation. Östersund Arena in 2014 hosted an international ice hockey game and the National Cup in gymnastics. In 2015, further major events will be held in the arena, including a round of the national selection for the Eurovision song contest, and the B-pool in sledge hockey world championships.
The planning- and construction process for Östersund Arena shows that an early and serious dialogue with citizens and interest groups create a more useful and inclusive environment and product. The International Paralympic committee believes that Östersund Arena is one of the most usable hockey arenas in the world - a opinion that had not been achieved without the influence of dedicated sports associations and other interest groups!