Canberra Brave's ice rink managers in talks to increase capacity after stellar AIHL season

The Canberra Brave's remarkable success in the Australian Ice Hockey League has led to talks of increasing the capacity and improving amenities at the Phillip Swimming and Ice Hockey Centre.

However, the ACT Government says a new rink at the Molonglo site as part of a proposed aquatic centre isn't feasible and will work with Phillip rink manager John Raut to discuss possible upgrades.

After only being formed in March after the Canberra Knights pulled out of the AIHL, the Brave has been the competition's Cinderella story, becoming the first Canberra team to qualify for the playoffs since the AIHL started in 2000.

The Brave plays in front of capacity crowds of 1000 people, including having a full house at last Sunday's final home game of the season against the Melbourne Mustangs.

Brave chairman Peter Chamberlain said there were plans to increase capacity by 300 to 400 for next season, but improving amenities and safety was just as important.

''At the end of the day, would we like a bigger rink to play on, a newer rink to play on, better ice to play on? Of course we would,'' Chamberlain said.


"But let's be realistic, if we could improve the rink for next year by putting some plexi-glass in, improving the toilets in the place and the amenities, then that would be fantastic."

ACT Sports Minister Shane Rattenbury attended the Brave's final home game of the season, telling ABC Radio on Saturday the venue needed to be upgraded to cope with the demand.

"There's no doubt the facilities [at Phillip] are aged ... it's pretty basic at the current rink,'' Rattenbury said.

"The current centre is privately owned and operated, but I've asked Sport and Recreational Services to contact the owners to have a conversation with them about looking at upgrading the facilities and what might be possible.

''They have just undertaken an upgrade of the plant to freeze the ice which cost around $400,000 I'm told, so work is going on on that site."

Rattenbury said there was feasibility study in late 2012 of a possible rink as part of a planned aquatic centre in Molonglo, but that it wouldn't be financially viable because of a lack of casual visitors.

The Brave's match with the Adelaide Adrenaline on Saturday night was pushed back two and half hours because of flight delays caused by fog, before Adelaide triumphed 5-2 at home.