Rink and Run stopped by the DECC on Monday on another matter, and got a quick look at Amsoil Arena, as Bob Hom of the DECC put on a hard hat, goggles and reflective vest and took me inside. My last viewing was in March.
A beautiful decorative Terrazzo floor is being installed by the artist in the main lobby, while 93 LED pennant lights were put in the lobby last week and will glow blue, I was told.
Heavy equipment was allowed back on the main floor after a recent pouring of what will be the ice surface. For college games, the visiting team will go from its dressing room and onto the ice through the penalty box. However, opposing coaches and support personnel will have to walk across the ice to get to their bench, which is side-by-side with Minnesota Duluth's bench. The Bulldogs will enter the ice through their bench area.
The UMD men and women teams will each have player lounges, locker rooms, trainer areas, and a separate room to hang up their street clothes. Those areas are identical in size for each team. The teams will share the weight room and the area where two large tubs are located. The tubs, and they are HUGE, will be for hydrotherapy and one has an underwater treadmill.
Coaches from each team will have permanent offices at Amsoil Arena and will no longer be on campus, I am told. The official signage: AMSOIL ARENA, has yet to be placed on the outside of the building, which is why open spots are visible.
Spectator seats will start to be installed Aug. 2.
An initial view from the print media section of the press box looks to put journalists even closer to the ice than at the present DECC, although not quite at center ice (well, you can't have everything). The DECC rink will continue to be used through the first half of the 2010-11 season with the first game at Amsoil Arena on Dec. 30 against North Dakota.
All 15 private suites have been sold for 2010-11 and liquor, I'm told, will be available in those areas and the Bulldog Club, but not in the rink's general seating areas.