STL FANATIC Posted September 21, 2010 Share Posted September 21, 2010 I'd love to see this for a couple reasons. One I've never loved the idea of sports operating in separate conferences than the school as a whole. Two, maybe in the long-run it could pressure Illinois into getting a D-I team. The club team is very good and very popular, but it's still just club level hockey in a subpar (fun and great for what it is, though) arena.I wonder if they could accommodate Assembly Hall to house hockey during the upcoming renovations.Does the ice arena still smell like wet socks? And are they still popular enough to pack in the drunkards elbow-to-elbow?God, I remember the time the coach of Bradley was threatening us from the bench because of our incessant heckling. Good times.I hope they're still popular enough to pack the ice arena. But I think if we could "Stuff Huff" for volleyball games, the crowd will be just as good for hockey.Illini Hockey is still popular, but still keep in mind the scale and ticket prices.As for the U of I Ice Arena, it is not a DIA (Dept. of Intercollegiate Athletics) facility, it is a university facility run by Campus Recreation. Student recreation fees assist in its operations, along with public skates and rentals. A desiccant dehumidifier was placed in the early 200s, but the still is a larger issue with the refrigeration system. It's at the center of campus, so parking is a hassle, a potential ADA issue with any large scale renovation, and asbestos abatement which would also have to be done. DIA does not want it, except for a space to rent out for summer camps. As I stated before, both Campaign and Urbana have looked in to building another rink(s), but nothing has come about in the last 15 years.The two Big 10 schools I hear the most rumors about starting up post-Penn State are Indiana and Illinois. I wonder if that's because both schools are activly looking at replacing their Assembly Halls? You would think that if one or both did, the cost of adding ice to the new arena would be a drop in the bucket of the overall budget...As someone who have known those who work for Illinois Campus Recreation for over a decade and some other executives, I can say on their side, the answer is "no". They do not have to replace Assembly Hall as an event center and will not replace it until there is a person who will supply the money to build it. Honestly, C-U is not a great destination which it was form as many major entertainment tours 15 years ago. Memorial Stadium was just under a major overhaul too. There is really no money to pay for a new specific ice facility with state/university dollars or from city funds. If a town(s) had money, they would have voted for it before 2000. Remember, a ice rink is generally a 20-24 hour operation, so one has to always pay for specific labor, facility management, and risk management. You cannot just hire the famous running back and expect him to give CPR if a kid passes out, take ice measurements, or to use a Zamboni/Olympia correctly all the time.Assembly Hall is not going to be replaced, it is going to be majorly renovated, and that will happen within the next 5 years, possibly sooner. It would have already begun if not for the economy/budget freeze. Most of the funding is lined-up, and very little of it backed off based on the economy, but the decision was made to wait it out anyways. But the renovation WILL happen.DIA employee. That's from the man in charge.No idea whether they are or would consider ice, though. Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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