More than 400 school-aged athletes from over a dozen recreation groups and athletic teams use the Six Rivers Youth Sports indoor turf field every week. The group plans to open an outdoor turf field by fall. Contributed / Six Rivers Youth Sports

Six Rivers Youth Sports announced last week that it will buy the former Topsham sports dome property and open an outdoor turf field there along with its planned NHL-size ice arena at the site.

The purchase, made possible through donors, will add a 5.4 acre lot and full-size outdoor turf field to Six Rivers’ existing 7.4 acre lot and building. The nonprofit group will remove the remains of the dome, which collapsed during a snowstorm in January, and open the outdoor field in time for the fall sports season, according to Chelsea Bickford, project coordinator.

More than 400 school-aged youth from over a dozen recreation groups and athletic teams use the Six Rivers’ indoor turf field every week, but the group’s main goal has always been to build an ice arena, Bickford said.

“There’s not a lot of ice time for especially youth hockey and high school hockey teams,” she said. “High school hockey teams are having to have early morning or late night practices to travel to Lewiston or other areas with arenas.”

While Bowdoin College has an arena, she said, they “have a lot of need for their ice with their sports teams” and are unable to offer many programs to the greater community.

She’s excited to “be able to open up that whole area to different community groups and organizations,” she said.


Fundraising for the estimated $5 million ice arena has brought $1.3 million so far. Money raised in the ongoing campaign also would go toward enhancements to the existing Six Rivers facility, including energy efficiency, renovated restrooms and improved parking.

The planned ice arena will be open to many organizations in the area, she said, including opportunities for adaptive skating, hockey for the blind and other programming for people with disabilities. A big priority is making the facility accessible to all kids.

Town Manger Derek Scrapchansky said an ice rink would be a valuable addition to Topsham and bring numerous benefits.

“The facilities would increase opportunities for residents to engage in physical activity and serve as a gathering place for families and friends to come together and socialize in a safe and welcoming environment,” he said. 

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