COVID-19 Impacts on the Fenton Chester Arena

FentonChester

LYNDON-- Businesses around the Northeast Kingdom are feeling the impacts of COVID-19, including Lyndon’s own Fenton Chester Arena. With Lyndon Institute closing on March 16th, and orders issued by the CDC to not allow groups over 10 people, the arena had to shut its’ doors temporarily. 

 

Dan French, General Manager of the Fenton Chester Arena says that at the time of closure, they had just rolled out the turf a few days prior and were going to begin piecing it together on March 17th with a full schedule of events to start the following day. French expects that all events and turf rentals will be canceled at least through April 20th. Some of the arena’s biggest users of the turg include Lyndon Institute and St. Johnsbury Academy’s spring sports, St. Johnsbury Youth Lacrosse, Maximum Velocity Soccer Clinics, Lyndon Arena Youth Baseball, and Softball, Northern Vermont University- Lyndon Lacrosse, Soccer, and Ultimate Frisbee, as well as several smaller rental groups. The Arena’s adult soccer league, as well as their sponsored stet hockey program, are canceled as well. As of right now, the Home Show on May 2nd and 3rd is still scheduled, but he fears that with the state’s reaction to COVID-19 pandemic, that will be canceled as well. 

 

“We have a captive audience here during mud season and that lost window of time cant be recreated,” French explained. 

 

While Fenton Chester Arena’s website says that they will be reopening April 6th, French says that it is doubtful with the restrictions and orders put in Place by Governor Phil Scott. The arena is a town-owned building and operates as a community arena and recreational facility. With that being said, the arena typically runs on a tight budget as is, and losing 5-6 or more weeks’ worth of revenue will impact the arena greatly. The arena was also looking into new potential partnerships and relationships with sponsorship that would have brought in more revenue during this time. 

 

According to French, “We will be looking into a number of ways we can recover some of these funds over the upcoming weeks and months.  But overall it has definitely impacted our ability to roll out new programs and build new relationships with new sponsors and partners as well as halting efforts to create new summer and fall events as all potential partners have shut their doors as well.”