Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Arena Talk

Minnesota's government, yes, the one that was once led by a pro wrestler, has been working on a state construction spending bill that could have ramifications in college hockey.

The bill includes $10 million to renovate the National Hockey Center in St. Cloud.

It also includes roughly $30 million for a new hockey arena in Duluth, which UMD would play at.

The bill will still have to pass through Governor Tim Pawlenty and his line-item veto, but I don't think Pawlenty would be able to get away with hosing Duluth again. Hopefully this time it's the real deal and the Bulldogs will get their shiny new arena.

(Most of the following story comes from Daniel S. Mason's "The Origins and Development of the International Hockey League)

Incidentally, this isn't the first time that the city of Duluth has been hampered by a lack of funding for an arena. In the early years of the 20th century, a group of five Duluth businessman looked into fielding a Duluth team in the 5-team International Hockey League, which was the world's first professional hockey league. An exhibition game between Houghton's Portage Lakes and Calumet was scheduled at the Duluth Curling Club. While the Curling Club had enough seating for a team, club rules dictated that all club members and their families must be let into the club for free. With the loss of income from those free seats, it was determined that a hockey team could not be profitable at the DCC. A new arena would be needed for the pro team, and they were unable to get funding for it. Duluth never got a team, and the IHL folded shortly after.

8 comments:

Goon said...

Maybe they will finally put some seats behind the goals in the Concrete center.

Anonymous said...

I think on one end, west end, they might, but they will not get rid of the suites on the east end.

Anonymous said...

They might frame the participation banners...

Anonymous said...

T PAW pulls out the Veto because he's a Gopher fan... Why should us tax payers pay for a place for a bunch of Canadian kids to play?

Goon said...

There is no doubt that UMD and SCSU need some arena upgrades. I would predict that Palenty will sign the bills.

Anonymous said...

Or perhaps UMD and SCSU can fund their own arenas...like Mankato did with having a LOCAL tax for the MWCC.

Anonymous said...

UMD is funding their own arena in part with a local sales tax and money from UMD itself.

SCSU on the other hand is getting a free handout on an arena that the state built for them (for free) about 15 years ago and turned over to them (which they rent out for graduations and concerts and make $$$ on that...but they won't put their own $$$ up). To top it off, the St. Cloud area turned down a sales tax to fund an addition to their Civic Center a few years ago. So why is Minnesota giving them another gift, while even Bemidji puts up BSU money to get an arena built?

-SkiUMahLaw

Jeff said...

looks like uaa is also getting a new arena. look at the uaafanblog. donald decided to do an offseason post afterall.