An NBC “Today Show” segment that aired Thursday, February 10, included an interview with a family whose son fell ill while playing hockey three years ago at an arena in Morris, Minnesota. Due to visuals used in the story, some local viewers may have mistakenly assumed that the incident occurred at the Osseo Ice Arena. The incident featured in the segment did not take place at the Osseo Ice Arena. The School District uses aggressive safety measures to help ensure that air quality will never be a concern at the ice arena. The following facts provide additional information that may be helpful.
The incident occurred three years ago at an arena in Morris, Minnesota. It did not occur in the Osseo Ice Arena.
Records show that there has never been an issue with air quality at the Osseo Ice Arena.
District staff monitors air quality in the ice arena more frequently than the state requires, and reports are filed quarterly with the Minnesota Department of Health. (The Today Show segment showed that Minnesota is one of only a few states that regulate air quality in ice arenas). The records show that there has never been a concern about air quality in the Osseo Ice Arena. The School District’s monitoring practices exceed the state’s requirements, and air quality tests are done on the ice to get the most accurate reading on air quality for players.
The team that was involved was an Osseo Maple Grove Hockey Association team, not a District 279 school-sponsored hockey team.
While the TV segment failed to provide sufficient local context, the School District wants to reassure students, staff, parents, and other community members that the incident was not related to the Osseo Ice Arena, and that aggressive measures are in place to help ensure that air quality will never be an issue in the Osseo Ice Arena.