Saskatoon Stars and Contacts moving to Merlis Belsher Place

The Saskatoon Stars and the Saskatoon Contacts will be moving to the new Merlis Belsher Place on the University of Saskatchewan campus. University of Saskatchewan / Supplied

Two Saskatoon midget minor hockey league teams will have a new arena to call home in the 2018-19 season.

The Saskatoon Stars and the Saskatoon Contacts will be moving from their current arenas to the new Merlis Belsher Place when it opens this fall.

READ MORE: Merlis Belsher Place at the University of Saskatchewan taking shape

Saskatoon Minor Hockey Association executive director Kelly Boes said putting the two teams in the new facility matches their level of performance and success.

“I think it will be inspirational for the teams to be playing in the same facility as the best university athletes,” Boes said in a statement.

“Having a world-class venue right here in our city on the University of Saskatchewan campus will be beneficial for our athletes of all ages, their families and our coaches.”

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Other SMHA teams will also make use of the arena. Roughly 1,500 hours of ice time is allocated to the SMHA, with the Stars and Contacts expected to use less than 15 per cent of that time.

More ice surface will also be available for others at the arenas previously used by the two teams, alleviating an ice shortage the association has faced in recent years.

READ MORE: ‘Smuker’s Lounge’ to honour former Saskatchewan Huskie Cody Smuk

Merlis Belsher Place is scheduled to open in October 2018, with two NHL-sized ice surfaces and two NBA-sized basketball courts.

The SMHA is the governing body for minor hockey in Saskatoon, with 3,800 players and 1,400 registered team officials.