Minnesota Mulls Making Mariucci Ice Smaller
CHN Staff Report
The University of Minnesota is considering an $8 million renovation to Mariucci Arena that could include making the ice surface smaller.
Minnesota is one of the few teams left in college hockey to play on an Olympic-sized ice surface, 200x100 feet. It was the trend for many years, until that reversed itself, and most arenas built since the mid-1990s have been NHL sized (200x85) or a hybrid.
The plans from the University would have the Gophers moving to a hybrid size of 200x92.5, creating space for approximately 200 more seats, which would create more revenue.
But the issue isn't just about money. Minnesota may also be wondering about competing in NCAA tournaments, which are played exclusively on NHL-sized ice surfaces.
The school already has a $190 million plan to do facilities upgrades. The arena proposal is separate from that, and would be privately funded.
Mariucci Arena opened in 1993. Other plans for upgrades include a new refrigeration system, training facilities and renovating the locker rooms.