The Manchester Ice & Event Centre is a non-profit facility that grew out of the need to have a reliable high quality, ice skating rink in McCall where both youth and adults could enjoy year-round skating activities. The facility sponsors and grows venues and programs that bring cultural, recreational and entertainment opportunities to the area for youth and adults, local residents and visitors alike as well as provide an economic base for the city’s downtown.
The rink has its roots in the tragic death in 1993 of a son, Richard Sabala, who died at age 17 in an automobile accident. Rich and the Sabala family were frequent visitors of McCall and he loved both the people and the magnificent scenery of his adopted mountain home.
After his death, a foundation was formed that established the Rich Sabala Memorial Invitational Golf Classic to honor his memory and support projects that reflect the affection he felt for the community. The result was the Rich Sabala Athletic Complex, completed in 1996, which is the major sports venue for the McCall-Donnelly School District. This rink was the second project of the Sabala Foundation. The aim from the beginning was to provide a high-quality facility that complemented the natural beauty of the area and which would provide a gathering place for the community for years to come.
The leadership and effort of the Richard Sabala Foundation influenced the monetary contributions for the rink, which came from private individuals and businesses, a state grant and corporate foundations. In addition, numerous community fund raising activities and volunteers contributed their invaluable time and services to achieve the $6.2 million objective of completing the Manchester Ice & Event Centre on July 2, 2003.
Located in the center of town, across the street from Payette Lake, the facility houses a regulation NHL sized hockey rink, grandstand and mezzanine seating and indoor and outdoor lake view dining by Skater Things Café.