MIAMA Regional Meeting / Arena Tour – February 2017
MIAMA once again proudly offered membership a chance to participate in a learning experience. On February 22nd, MIAMA held an Arena Tour in the Blaine area with tours at Coon Rapids Ice Center, Fogerty Arena and the Schwan Super Rink. Those in attendance were very appreciative of the opportunity to see what others have and shared a very positive day.
Thanks to each rink for the very informative tour.
Coon Rapids Ice Center
Coon Rapids is a relatively new facility opening in 2011. Arena Manager Bill Ganser shared with us the design issues, things that were working well and things that need to be changed. We discussed the relationship one must have with architects, contractors and facilities staff. Coon Rapids also has an outdoor refrigerated ice sheet and the group discussed the trials of an outdoor sheet.
Fogerty Arena shared its unique tandem of Electric Olympia resurfacers. Thanks to Arena Manager Rob Hall and Olympia Representative Chris Michael from CTM Services, we were treated to the history of these machines. The machines were built as corded resurfacers and one still runs with the retractable cord system. The other was converted to a lithium battery system that took some work to retro fit. These side dumping Olympia’s are worth a look. Fogerty is home to the first year round curling rink in America if I’ve got that correct. A professional crew takes care of the curling rink with John Benton as the Curling director and Todd Birr as the ice director. Each of them is a member of a Championship Curling team and they shared with us what it takes to run a World Class Curling facility which was very fascinating. Fogerty has also taken ownership of the Sticks and Stones Restaurant, very popular with those in our group.
Schwan Super Rink
At the Schwan Super Rink, Ice Operations Manager John Flater took us on an impressive tour to the massive Schwan Super Rinks. 8 rinks and countless locker rooms is an incredible thing to behold. The training facilities, the businesses located in the building make this a year round major training center. There was much talk about the Live Barn camera system as it’s an up an coming thing already here in many rinks around the Metro Twin Cities area. John was impressive in getting us around this facility as I can only imagine getting lost every day.
We were honored to have a few MIAMA Vendors join us and share their expertise. Local Olympia ice resurfacer deal Chris Michael from CTM Services, Mark Rasmussen from Apex on Retrofit programs from lighting to getting a free solar program to you, Mark Bradley from CDI dehumidification and Jeff Horstman from Arena Warehouse.
It was great to have MIAMA Board Member Rick Ragan from the Delano Sports Arena in attendance. We had attendees from Bemidji, Breezy Point Hockey Center, Braemar Arena, Champlin Ice Forum, White Bear Lake Sports Center and South Dakota. It was impressive to have them take the travel time to join us. It’s what MIAMA is all about and they expressed gratitude for the opportunity and enjoyed the tour immensely.
A special thrill for me personally was bringing my 12 year old hockey playing grandson. Watching him wide eyed and observing all things he had never seen while planting the seed for the future.
We will do this again soon. Keep in touch with the MIAMA Web Page and social media for future events.
Walt Bruley – MIAMA Board Member: Director Emeritus