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West Salem's New Facility

More than four decades ago in the small community of West Salem, Wisconsin, a group of parents came together to share ideas about developing a hockey facility for youth. In 1975 their idea turned into a reality and the West Salem Hockey Association (WSHA) was formed. That same year an octagon-cornered, open air rink was built; it proved to be a great way for youth to be active and to build lifelong friendships, skills and teamwork.

In 1981 a new rounded-corner, open air rink was constructed on the same site. It was complete with enclosed team boxes, scorer and penalty boxes, and a manual scoreboard. Ten years later, the WSHA partnered with the Village of West Salem to construct a community-use shelter next to theexisting Lion’s Building. It would contain a covered roof to protect the sheet of ice from overhead precipitation, yet would remain open on all sides.

Over the next two decades, the WSHA continued to fund raise and make advancements and necessary upgrades to the facility, including theinstallation of garage doors around the perimeter of the shelter, allowing them to be lowered when hockey was in session. This offered furtherprotection from the weather and was appreciated by skaters and spectators alike. In 2003, the facility was improved even more when a refrigeration system and coils were installed, creating artificial ice that would extend the skating season.

The “Meat Locker,” as the rink under the Lion’s Shelter was affectionately dubbed, continued to be the home of 100+ skaters annually, along with the West Salem Panthers High School team until the 2017-18 season.

 Through the generous support of the West Salem School District residents voted to support the construction of a new multi-use community center that would be the “Panther Den”, the new home of the West Salem Panthers and the WSHA, in a very unique partnership. The Panther Den would open in 2018. 

WSHA is seeking financial support to continue to support the partnership with West Salem School District. WSHA has made a capital contribution that includes the chiller for the ice system, the Zamboni that re-surfaces the ice and funding to support the purchase of new dasher boards for the new facility. WSHA also contributes annually to a portion of the utilities for the facility. Generous contributions from local businesses and individuals, along with numerous annual fund raisers operated by WSHA members allow WSHA to be debt free and offer our skaters some of the lowest registration fees in the area.


West Salem Hockey Association
601 Mark St N, PO Box 15
West Salem, Wisconsin 54669

Email: [email protected]

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