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Yanmar Announces Partnership, Unveils Arena
Yanmar Compact Equipment North America (Yanmar CE North America), encompassing the Yanmar Compact Equipment and ASV brands, has entered into a partnership with the City of Grand Rapids, Minn., to secure naming rights of the former IRA Civic Center. Beginning on November 1, 2023, the facility was renamed Yanmar Arena.
With over 200,000 visitors per year, the newly christened Yanmar Arena is a popular venue for ice hockey, figure skating and community events held throughout the year. The official grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held before the start of the Grand Rapids High School boys’ hockey game against Hibbing on Wednesday, November 22, at 7 p.m. Promotional items will be given away to the first 150 fans through the doors.
“The renaming of the IRA Civic Center to Yanmar Arena illustrates Yanmar’s commitment to Grand Rapids and the surrounding area by helping make athletic opportunities more accessible to the generations of athletes,” says Tate Johnson, CEO and president of Yanmar Compact Equipment North America. “This was an excellent opportunity for us to give back in a meaningful way; and we are honored to partner with the City of Grand Rapids in this endeavor.”
According to city officials, the 10-year agreement will lower the cost of ice time by approximately $40/hour for all parties that utilize Yanmar Arena. As a result, thousands of people, young and old, will enjoy greater accessibility to ice skating; and Yanmar hopes this will support the next generation of young athletes.
The guiding principle of this partnership is Yanmar’s foundational ethos of HANASAKA, a Japanese word meaning “let the people and the future bloom.” Through HANASAKA, Yanmar envisions a future where young talent is nurtured and inspired through sports and arts, contributing to a thriving, connected community. Yanmar CE North America also provided the City of Grand Rapids with a new TL100VS, the debut machine in its new line of compact track loaders, which will be used for snow removal and maintenance at the facility.
Yanmar CE North America established its headquarters in Grand Rapids when it purchased ASV Holdings, a manufacturer of compact track loaders and skid steers, in 2019. ASV was originally founded in Marcell, Minn., in 1983 and moved its headquarters to Grand Rapids in 1995.
Once new signage throughout the building is installed, Yanmar plans to acknowledge the venue’s storied history that dates back to 1962 when the Itasca Recreation Assn. (IRA) was formed with the expressed aim of raising funds to construct an indoor ice facility in Grand Rapids. Yanmar will also work with arena leadership to celebrate the rich heritage of Grand Rapids hockey.
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