June 25, 2019

miama photo jp wright
Name: JP Wright
Organization Name: David C. Johnson Civic Arena
Address: 600 1st Avenue NW.
City: Isanti State: MN Zip: 55040
Phone #: 763-444-6432
Tell us how you got into the industry?
I started as a 16-year-old, working part time in Delano while I played high school hockey. Honestly, I was just looking for another excuse to be at the arena. After a year of college at St. Cloud, I decided to pick up a rink job for some extra spending money. Jon Erickson, who hired me at Sartell, and I worked under for 5 years, is who fueled my fire to get into arena management.
How many years have you been in the ice arena industry?
10 years total
What type of Ice Resurfacer does your facility operate?
1997 – Zamboni 552
What type of Ice Edger does your facility operate?
What is the size of your ice sheet?
200’ x 85’
What type of floor do you have in your facility? (Sand/Cement/Other)
What is the best part about working in an ice arena?
Being around the sport I love.
Using one word, name one thing you love about working at a rink?
Nobody’s perfect in this industry. Tell us your worst experience at a rink so far?
2 equally embarrassing stories – same event:
While working at Scheels Arena in Fargo, we hosted the 2017 NCAA West Region.
30 minutes prior to warmups for the 1st game between North Dakota & Boston, I went out to drill the holes for our marsh pegs. I start drilling down & I hit cement. Turns out, when we were painting the ice, we had somehow marked the creases two inches off-center. So, the 2017 NCAA West Region was played using wylie pegs.
My second equally embarrassing experience; during the 3rd period of that game between North Dakota & Boston, we had a pane of our side glass shatter. Side story, we replaced 4 panes of our side glass pre-tournament with 4 panes that had camera holes for photographers. Those 4 panes of side glass were then placed on 1 of 2 carts in the Zamboni room, so they were readily available in case the unexpected happened.
Well, when the glass shattered, my coworker ran & grabbed one of the carts & wheeled it out. We walked out with the new piece of glass, on national television may I remind you, installed it & realized we had put in the wrong piece. He had accidentally grabbed the wrong cart. So, the remainder of the 3rd period was played with a piece of glass that was 6 inches shorter than the rest. Nothing better than getting texts from buddies giving me crap about the wrong sized glass they had just watched me replace on ESPN. Truly horrifying 3 hours… but something we all laugh about now.
What are the first three things you do when you get to the rink each day?
Check for any notes from the previous night, check on compressors, drink coffee.
How do you feel ongoing professional development is helping you and your career?
I’ve been working part time for Travis at the X over the past two seasons. I’ve learned more about ice & Zamboni maintenance in these two seasons from him & the ice crew than I had in my entire 8 years prior. They truly are the best in the business.
How would you explain to the average hockey parent how the ice resurfacer works to resurface the ice?
The 3 S’s but backwards: Shave, Shower, S#!%
Career highlight or accomplishment you are most proud of?
The Crow River Classic. A pond hockey tournament I put on in 2015, located on the Crow River in downtown Delano. 23 teams in its inaugural year, 2 rinks (Shout out to Rick Ragan), & a day of fun.
Advice for making it in the sports industry or for someone wanting to be a Zamboni driver?
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone & be patient for your opportunity.
Who would you like to acknowledge for helping (mentoring) you along the way?
Jon Erickson, Rick Ragan.
What certifications have you attained within the industry? (STAR classes, ISI classes, etc)
No certifications – just ORM class
What is the best tip you have learned from any of the classes offered through MIAMA?
This past fall was my first MIAMA conference. Best tip is to attend MIAMA events regularly.

2019 MIAMA Full Membership Vendors

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Arena Warehouse
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Carlson Stewert 2018
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MIAMA Member Spotlight: JP Wright – David C. Johnson Civic Arena