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Amsoil Arena

I went to the game last night and other than the remarkably crappy hockey, I have to say that in my already-addressed 10 years in Duluth, I have never been more proud to be a Duluthian.

What a great building, and as Mayor Ness said, what a great achievement for the men and women who built it and the folks who work there. On my way in I heard employees welcoming people, and on the way out I was thanked for coming and invited back, and it was actually sincere. It’s a beautiful facility and I’m so glad that our community voted to build it.

I think 61% of the city would now vote to get the Bulldogs some defense, but that would be a different referendum.

Anyway, thanks to all of those who worked to get the arena, those who worked on the arena, and those who work in it now. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to many, many more. I would encourage everyone to visit the open house, even if you’re not a hockey fan. It’s going to be a great venue for concerts and other events, too.

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21 Comment(s)

  1. Maybe they should have invested in some better glass??

    Cory | Dec 31, 2010 | New Comment
  2. I missed it — when did we vote on this? And not to complain, but could we at least have voted to make it the same color as the DECC?

    Rediguana | Dec 31, 2010 | New Comment
  3. It was in 2006. Duluthians voted in favor of a 0.75 percent increase to the restaurant and bar sales tax to cover the $40 million the city bonded for the new arena.

    Paul Lundgren | Dec 31, 2010 | New Comment
  4. The art inside the Amsoil Arena is incredible, esp. the mosaic back towards the Lake side.

    Claire | Dec 31, 2010 | New Comment
  5. Claire, you’re absolutely right. The mural work is awesome. I love how they used the local placenames and the quotes from local people as well. I’m not a big Denny Anderson lover but even I gave a big “awww” that “Good night and be kind” is right by the exit.

    jessige | Dec 31, 2010 | New Comment
  6. Amsoil Arena will be a treasure to our city for years to come. I feel lucky to have been a part of the opening night. And if it means I pay an extra 3/4 of a percent on a pint of beer, bring it on. I will order two to cover my cost.

    andy | Jan 1, 2011 | New Comment
  7. Great building! Just lost the college feel though. What happened to the banners? Can’t really hear the band anymore or the student section. Too bad. Really miss the college feel of the old DECC.

    chukndeb | Jan 3, 2011 | New Comment
  8. Chuckndeb, I’d have to disagree that the college feel should make a comeback. I was a student at UMD from 2004 to 2006 and had season tickets in 04 while attending regularly until 06. I felt the college fans were rude, disorderly, and didn’t show positive school spirit.

    I’m all for a positive school spirit in the college section if possible, though. Maybe there just shouldn’t be a college section and just have college season ticket holders dispersed thoughout the crowd.

    That said, I love the new arena!! What an icon.

    Mitchell Davis | Jan 3, 2011 | New Comment
  9. I guess I’m the only person in town who wonders why the city constructs a place for the university to play hockey.

    Personally, I think it is incredibly ugly on the outside. I haven’t been inside. What’s with the skywalk from the garage to the arena? It could have been a tunnel instead of cutting off the flow of the buildings.

    And just one more complaint: Anyone actually attend a music act in the old arena? The acoustics are beyond ridiculous.

    Linda | Jan 3, 2011 | New Comment
  10. Linda, I can answer your first question. If UMD tried to build a 6,700-seat hockey arena on campus the people who live in that neighborhood would declare war.

    Paul Lundgren | Jan 3, 2011 | New Comment
  11. Point well taken, Paul. I actually live in that neighborhood. Did they share in the expense?

    Linda | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  12. State covered around half, city food/bev tax covered a little over a quarter, and UMD picked up the rest.

    @Mitchell Davis: You clearly don’t have any clue about for whom college sports are intended. It’s for the students. Sorry you didn’t have any “positive school spirit” experiences … like most students, you probably weren’t attempting to lead any cheering, so if you’re weren’t part of the solution, you were part of the problem. Sorry, bud.

    @Linda: The city helped finance the Amsoil project because if they built it on campus not only would the neighborhood take up pitchforks and torches as PL pointed out, but Downtown Duluth/Canal Park businesses would take a huge hit with regards to game day/evening revenue — not to mention a large loss of tax revenue. You’d also have UMD then competing with the DECC for concerts, expos, etc. This is actually what government is supposed to do — facilitate the development of infrastructure that will then be self-sustaining. Unlike empty medium-speed railroads.

    SlingFade | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  13. @chukndeb If you were at the opening game vs. North Dakota at Amsoil Arena, they didn’t have the student section filled with students because it is UMD’s winter break and they sold those seats to the general public. I hope that the students will be back by the Wisconsin series Jan. 14-15. Their volume should increase when school resumes. They also did not have a full-sized pep band due to the break. Things should be back to normal soon.

    Erin | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  14. SlingFade, you do realize that not even the national highway system directly sustains itself. The populace benefits from the ease of travel by the highway. Then, those who benefit/use the highway are taxed. The same can be said for the post office, trains, etc. Now, if you’ve got a problem with the Feds using the money they’ve taxed from the entire nation, and redistributing it to another area … well, that’s understandable. However, your problem should be with how the Fed. Gov. has mutated since its founding. How the Fed redistributes funds for internal improvement is an argument that has been going on since the 19th century.

    Roland Thompson | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  15. Thanks for answering the funding question…seems like a fair distribution of the cost. Didn’t really mean to poke the political hotbed of governmental funding. Doesn’t take much these days to enflame folks.

    Linda | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  16. Airlines are private entities that receive millions in government subsidies and tax preferences and have almost never been self sustaining. | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  17. Linda, no worries. No one has gotten inflamed . . . I think. Course, sentence structure and word choice is most important in writing, due to lack of vocal tone. Don’t know if you meant me, or just the comments in general, but if me, then I apologize for poor word choice and sentence structure -- to all of PDD I apologize. Especially since it’s a topic that bugs me as well.

    Roland Thompson | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  18. About the college feel: couple things. First, the band was the size it will be from here on out, but they will be elevated, so their sound should carry better.

    Second, the athletic dept has indicated through a series of decisions that men’s hockey is supposed to have the feel of a pro game as much as possible. I think the reasoning is twofold. The student section’s behavior at times has been viewed by families at the game to be inappropriate, so downplaying their involvement demonstrates the desire to continue to, frankly, sell full price tickets. And second, let’s face it: D-I hockey is just another minor league for the NHL. Minor league rinks are different than the old college rinks, for good or for ill.

    jessige | Jan 4, 2011 | New Comment
  19. Great ! I was hoping that the Xmas break had something to do with it. Hoping with time the new arena will get the old college feel back.

    Chuck Richards | Jan 5, 2011 | New Comment
  20. Okay, I was all set to like the new arena when I walked in before the first game, and I’ve been trying really hard not to complain about it, but … I couldn’t see as well as at the DECC! I’ve had season tickets forever and we’re sitting in basically the same spot as we were before (top row of the lower bowl, mid-ice). At the DECC these seats had an unobstructed view of the whole rink — but in the Amsoil there’s about four feet along the near side that you can’t see because of the lower stair pitch. I walked around between periods and it looks like there are NO seats in the lower bowl with an unobstructed view — I didn’t check out the upper seats though. Are there better sightlines up there? I’m all for the nice art and fancier concessions, but what I really want is to see the game. With all the talk of the new arena’s great sightlines, I was very disappointed in the result.

    Elisabeth | Jan 6, 2011 | New Comment
  21. Everyone seems to be getting a feel for the new arena. The Minnesota games last night was awesome. Good energy. One thing that I don’t like is the plain UMD lights that show on the ice just before the team comes out. With a state of the art multi media system in place I would expect more glitz than that. I love the fog and Sammy Hagar playing. Gets me pumped. With all that said I would like to say that the student behavior during the Star spangled Banner is troubling at the very least. I’m all for the shouting “Bulldogs” at the end, but the bad singing, symbol sounds, and commentary during the official song is unacceptable IMO. I was taught growing up to be still, quiet (unless singing), and above all respectful during the playing of our national anthem. I am not alone in this feeling. Just look around and you will see strange and uncomfortable looks coming from people when this is happening. Other than that, great arena, better food, good energy, awesome team.

    Frank C | Feb 5, 2011 | New Comment

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