Northern Rural Net is working with the North Hastings Arena Commission to upgrade the North Hastings Community Centre.

Nan McGhee with Northern Rural Net says the upgrades will be done before the Rockhounds take to the ice in September. “We’re going to enhance and improve,” she says of the improvements that will be made to the lighting and sound system in the area.┬áDavid Forde, senior advisor with hockey operations and recruiting with the team, adds that minor upgrades will also be made to the dressing rooms.

Northern Rural Net has been brought on as the Rockhounds’ main sponsor, but McGhee says the upgrades they help with will benefit everybody that uses the arena.

Chair of the arena commission and the Rockhounds general manager George Eastman says that despite the arena being over 50 years old, it’s in good shape. “Other┬áthan something unforeseen, we’re in good shape,” he says. With that in mind, he says he would still like to see work on the lobby be done with the installation of barrier-free washrooms and other accessibility-related changes. He also would like to add an elevator in to make it easier for people to get upstairs.

As part of the team’s sponsorship agreement with Northern Rural Net, all Rockhounds games will be streamed live. McGhee adds that it’s not like this for all teams in the MJHL. She says they want to work with the league to make live streaming a standard for all teams.