Monday, November 21, 2011

A look at the 'Oil Can'

Here are some pictures from last weekend's series between Minnesota State and Minnesota Duluth at Duluth's new Amsoil Arena. What a beautiful building. But I couldn't help but think about what could be done in Mankato to improve the Verizon Wireless Center, which is nearly 17 years old (and looking like it). I've tackled some of that subject in Wednesday's column in The Free Press. More later ...
The Mavericks warming up at Amsoil Arena on Friday.
Everything about the arena is UMD, UMD UMD, starting with the seats.
A modest but effective video scoreboard hangs above center ice.
The student section uses portable seating that goes up to the  glass.
The Bulldog Shop is built into the arena concourse.
The outside of the club room gives outsiders a peek at the fireplace.
A view of the club area, which is open to the rink.
Above and to the left is the suite level.
Even the advertising signage is UMD-related. (Verizon wasn't alone.)


Hagar said...

I look forward to your article. Hopefully something can be done in the near future with the Verizon Center. But then again, how many years did we have to deal with a scoreboard that continuously malfunctioned before they finally upgraded that?

I think a bigger issue in this town is All Season's Arena. After traveling accross the state to various hockey rinks in various cities (big or small), ASA is one of the worst facilities I have seen. Almost to the point where its embarrassing. When you consider the size of the Hockey Program along with the Skating School and ALL the other area teams/programs that use this one facility, it's a total joke. East and West will never be able to compete at the State level until we can find enough ice time to develop our youth hockey players.

Sorry for the rant.

BIGhkyfan said...

Well Spoken. Not a rant, rather fact.

Until pressure is applied and reported by the "local" paper, the public voices with fall on deaf ears.
Coupled with a questionable mens D1 hockey program with little direction and formidable leadership.

MSU Grad 97 said...

Having read your blog and your newspaper article, I think you have a lot of good points. I have been to each of the D-I arenas either in or on the border, and here is what I see we are either good with or lacking:

Good - Fewer box or club seats - thank God! The U of M and BSU ones are way too much. Also, space to expand - it is there as Shane mentioned behind the glass at the south end, take out some of that wall if need be. You could also put a 'world's biggest cowbell' right in front of the U part of the student section and pick some college kid to ring it. The sound system (when people figure out how to use it) sounds great, but volume control is a must. The introductions of the players works great, but how about quicker turn-on lights?

Needs - the band would be great in the big 3 sports in my opinion, but make it actually work and sound like a real band. A new video board right above the goalie at the south end, high def, would be great. Think how awesome that would be for introductions with the bulls-head flying out! Replays should be done, no more excuses on that. Banners from the rafters recognizing that their was a time MSU was great before D-I, along with the Anthony Ford one and the All-Americans. Include Steve Carroll at least as he was their best player of last century - it has been a lot like Blyleven not having his number retired for so long by the Twins. Seats with MSU colors would be awesome as well - who came up with that color scheme anyway? They should have been shown the door. MSU purple everywhere would be great - how about the building right outside have purple lights instead of green again? Show any and all trophies they have won - they even had one from last year (should have been two as if the DQ cup would have still existed for best record against other MN schools, MSU had the best record last season).

Overall, I agree with Shane that the place is a decent one with a lot of potential to be great. Spend money to make money should be the philosophy on this as people will come if things are done and the team starts winning. The next few years should be exciting with a lot of high scoring games (great forward classes with low amounts of defense, so it appears). Just make sure that schedule with basketball is fixed next year, change some stuff up at the VWC without excuses from either party, and it will be like 2002-03 again.