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MIAMA Member Spotlight: Al Ness – Richfield Ice Arena

Name: Al Ness

Organization Name: Richfield Ice Arena

Address: 636 East 66th Street

City: Richfield     State:  MN    Zip: 55122

Phone #: 612-861-9350

Website: www.cityofrichfield.org


Tell us how you got into the industry?

I was contacted by Park and Rec at the City of Richfield. They told me about an opening at the brand new Ice Arena.

How many years have you been in the ice arena industry? 47 years

What type of Ice Resurfacer does you facility operate? 552 Zamboni 

What type of Ice Edger does your facility operate? Zamboni 

What is the size of your ice sheet? 85 x 200 

What type of floor do you have in your facility? (Sand/Cement/Other) Rink 1 – Sand and Rink 2 – Cement 

What is the best part about working in an ice arena?  Seasons are different, always a new job or task to be done (including work at the municipal pool). My job is never boring! 

Using one word, name one thing you love about working at a rink? Entertaining 

Nobody’s perfect in this industry. Tell us your worst experience at a rink so far? I accidentally left the water on while filling the Zamboni. I flooded the Zamboni pit, sump pump and the entire boiler room. It looked like Shakopee’s high level mark! 

What are the first three things you do when you get to the rink each day? Prepare the rinks, monitor the equipment and check for overall cleanliness of the building. 

How do you feel ongoing professional development is helping you and your career? It has been an enormous help throughout my years here. 

How would you explain to the average hockey parent how the ice resurfacer works to resurface the ice? A printing press blade shaves the ice, horizontal and vertical augers send snow into the tank. 

Career highlight or accomplishment you are most proud of? During the 1990s I ran more hockey leagues than any other rink, including having more than 75 professional hockey players participating in these leagues. 

Advice for making it in the sports industry or for someone wanting to be a Zamboni driver? When you go to work for 40 hours every week and will be working for close to 45 years, make sure you enjoy what you do. Money doesn’t matter.

Who would you like to acknowledge for helping (mentoring) you along the way? Al Payne 

What certifications have you attained within the industry? (STAR classes, ISI classes, etc) SIRO and AFO Pool 

What is the best tip you have learned from any of the classes offered through MIAMA? Air Quality – this became extremely important when I was unexpectedly asked to interview for Channel 5 news regarding Air Quality in ice arenas. I was very well prepared!

Communications Director Note: MIAMA congratulates Al Ness on his retirement from the Richfield Ice Arena on Friday, June 29th. Please join him later that afternoon and get together to tell stories.

Al Ness Retirement Party


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