Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Pegula Center Speculation: Steve Cady Arena/Goggin Ice Center

Photo: Wikipedia user Nomader

Second post in a series taking a look at rinks visited by Joe Battista, Terry Pegula and Tim Curley during their whirlwind tour over the summer and fall of 2010. The first covered Boston University's Agganis Arena.

Opened: 2006
Cost: $36 million (good bang for the buck there)
Capacity: 3,200
Ice Surfaces: Two 200' x 85' rinks

The Miami University RedHawks' page for Goggin on their official website has a ton of great pictures, both of the seating bowl, and elsewhere in the facility (scroll down). We already know that a feature of this rink impressed Joe Battista - a board system that can be lowered from the ceiling, dividing the rink in two for youth hockey or broomball.

One thing I really like about this facility is that it screams "college hockey" to me, where Agganis Arena screams "multi-purpose." I do like Agganis for the simple fact that it maximizes closeness for the largest number of people possible, but at the same time, Penn State already has a major athletic venue that feels new but is completely devoid of character.

Reading up on Goggin, it's clear that Miami had more in mind than simply an NCAA hockey facility, and I'm sure several aspects of the design appealed to the Penn State decision-makers for that reason. Back at the Miami/Goggin page:
Located adjacent to the school's Recreational Sports Center (RSC), the Goggin Ice Center was strategically located to be centered within a major hub of student activity, with the goal of creating an area of synergy on campus.

Two NHL-size (200'x 85') sheets are the focal point of the Ice Center, including a 3,200-seat arena, which is to be called Steve Cady Arena, and includes 2,800 reserved lower-bowl seats, 102 club seats, four opera boxes and six private suites. When standing room is included in the capacity, Cady Arena will have a capacity of nearly 4,000.
The second sheet of ice, with seating for 250, will mainly be used for practice but will see extensive use through youth hockey, intramural activities and other community-related events.

The facility also includes state-of-the-art locker room facilities for both the hockey and synchronized skating programs, in addition to 13 other locker areas.
Where have I heard that before? Was it here?
The facility will be built on the corner of Curtin Road and University Drive, directly west of the Bryce Jordan Center. It will include two ice sheets and other features that will allow it to be used for a broad range of campus and community activities, from commencement ceremonies to kinesiology classes to public skating sessions and camps for youth.

The facility will provide new training and performance opportunities for Penn State's popular and successful figure skating club and for the University's women's ice hockey team. It also will offer ice time to recreational and high school hockey programs, as well as intramural and local speed skating and broomball clubs.
My only quibble with the arena as a whole (and it is a minor one) is the lack of seating on either end. I like the effect of a bowl of fans surrounding the entire ice surface, and that handful of rows isn't doing it for me. I'm sure many in the goalie-heckling crowd agree with me too.

The only other thing I ask: please, please, please do not make the center ice logo face one of the ends of the rink. I would like to have words with the man responsible for that down in Oxford.

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