***Please note that unless you are in the High Point University Class of 2015, this article does not concern you. Thank you and have a nice day.
1. Standard North American-size ice surface of 200’ by 85’. An ice surface of this size is best for our purposes for three reasons.
- a. It is the size that the NCAA and club hockey use.
- b. A club team would need a rink of this size, or very similar to this size, for the reason mentioned in reason No. 1. And any type of intramural program would appreciate the smaller size of the ice surface (compared to the 200’x100’ size commonly found in Europe) because it wouldn’t require as much lateral skating. Ice surfaces of bigger sizes can be beneficial to athletes in the best professional leagues because it offers them more space to utilize their top-notch skating skills. But for college students who just want to pass the puck around for fun in a light scrimmage, smaller ice surfaces are best because they don’t need the extra ice. Larger ice surfaces can even be detrimental to recreational players because they can require better conditioning to be able to make use of the extra ice.
- c. It will cost less to have a 200’ by 85’ ice surface because less building material will be required to make the extra space that a European sized rink would require.
- d. Further rink measurements:
- § Neutral zones need to be 26 ft in length, on opposite sides of the red line at mid-ice.
- § Offensive zones should be 64 ft in length
- § All faceoff circles need to be 30 ft in diameter
- § There should be 10 ft between each goal line and their respective endboards
- § There should be eight feet between the faceoff circles in each offensive zone and eight feet between the faceoff circles and the closest sideboards
- § I have a diagram of a NHL size rink with me for reference upon request
2. 1500-2000 seats:
- a. This is a beginning estimate, and I’ll explain how I came to this number. High Point has between 3,000 and 4,000 students. Of those, about 20% come from North Carolina, where hockey is not very popular. However, many of the estimated 80% of out-of-state students come from northeastern states, where hockey is more popular than in the south. That means High Point is a sort of base of transplanted hockey passion in the southeastern land of basketball, football, soccer, and baseball. This means it is reasonable to think that High Point may be a place of greater hockey passion than many other places in the southeast. That’s why I think it might be reasonable to think that it may be a good idea to put in a number of seats numbering from 1500-2000 so that people can buy tickets to come see the club team play. I wouldn’t estimate the cost of tickets for games to exceed more than $20, which would be inexpensive enough to attract students, alumni, parents, faculty, and administration to club games. It’s difficult to anticipate how many alumni, faculty, or administration would attend club games, however. Therefore I estimated that 1500-2000 seats would be enough unless the program does better than expected. 1500-2000 seats accounts for 38.5-50% of the student body. Without knowing the full extent of student interest in watching a club team play, that is my best guess of the number of seats we would need. That number is certainly flexible based on the input of yourself and the athletic department.
- b. If we are planning for future expansion of the program, then it might be a good idea to consider the diagram I have drawn up of the layout of the seats. It depicts a bowl style with all seats set at least 7.5 ft (a fair buffer between the action/players and the stands/spectators by my estimates) behind the ice surface and various adjoining benches and boxes. Aisles are positioned at the corners of the ice surface, on both sides of each blueline and the mid-ice line, behind the goal on each end of the ice, and at the mid-point between the blueline and corner on each side of each end of the ice. There are as many rows as needed for the seating capacity we decide on. It is worth noting, however, that based on my calculations, an estimate of 100 stadium-style seats will fit in a single row on each side of the ice, length-wise. About 40 seats will fit in a single row on each end of the ice, width-wise. My projections indicate we would need 11-15 rows to meet the goal of 1500-2000 seats established earlier. I can go over the specific math behind those numbers upon request.
- c. YK 1300 series seats is the best deal for stadium style seating that I have found. There may well be something better out there, but these seats come in five different ways, providing nice flexibility for what each client needs. The options are shell-only, which is just the seat attached right to the riser step, riser mount, with a pole mounted with an attachment to the riser, an aluminum riser mount, and a floor mount that can also come in aluminum. These seats cost $63.99 per chair, $29,995 per 500, or $54,990 per 1000. Must order at least 100 chairs.
- d. It would be ideal to have about 24 inches of leg room for each row. I have the math behind that number upon request.
- Scoreboards (assuming a club team forms) - I have requested a brochure from a company that manufactures scoreboards.
- Uniforms for a club team: Hockey monkey.com or americanteamuniforms.com should work for that.
3. Rink Facilities
- a. See copy of Ice Rink Facilities Projection table
- b. Ice surfaces
- § There is, of course, the option of putting in standard ice – frozen water. Hockey players have skated on real ice for generations. I have spoken with Derek Strukoff, who is “Head of Coaches, Redline High Performance Hockey Center”, and he thinks that if we plan to have a competitive team or plan to use the ice quite a bit for competitive play, then traditional ice may be the way to go. However, real ice requires specialized machinery, more installation work that would have to be done by an outside firm, and particular building materials. Real ice would also require an ice resurfacing machine, which can be difficult to find.
- § The second option is a synthetic ice technology called Xtraice. There are other synthetic ice technologies, but this is the best of the best that the synthetic ice surface has to offer. Mr. Strukoff has personally tested this ice surface and says that it is the best synthetic ice surface out there. It is plastic engineered with the properties of real ice. It is not perfect – it requires more manual upkeep than regular ice. Glider fluid has to be put down on the ice according to the frequency it is used, and no one can skate on it until an hour after the fluid is applied. Vacuuming the surface is also necessary according to frequency of usage. Sometimes power-washing the panels is necessary. But no particular building materials are required, the only special machinery required for maintenance is a vacuum big enough to handle a surface 200x85, and the installation compared to real ice is virtually nil. Just fit the panels together like puzzle pieces and you’ve got yourself a smooth surface. But the smooth gliding enabled by the glider fluid can be fickle, and its effect on the plastic surface wanes over time. The cost of the panels is unknown, and they are made by a company called Endless Ice, Ltd. Mr. Strukoff said this ice surface is best for casual skating and recreational hockey.
- § Upon review, real ice requires a lot of long term cost in the extra utilities cost due to the special machinery needed to maintain the ice. It could also require more cost in the special building materials it requires to avoid adverse chemical reactions between the elements of the specialized climate in a traditional ice rink. But the only manual maintenance required of it is resurfacing the ice each night. It is suited more to serious use. Xtraice saves a lot of money in installation costs and maintenance. But it also requires lots more manual maintenance and its performance can decline over time with no way to fix that.
4. Building Materials
- a. It’s probably best to approach an outside firm about this. I tried to find sensible solutions, but found it to be a job for a professional.
1. Students interested in a club team:
- a. Tricia Galinski
- b. Brendan Biffany
- c. Brian Gannon
- d. Joseph Kilar
- e. Patrick Montgomery
- f. Abby Hansen
- g. Amanda Landry
- h. Erin Karpovich* (the asterisk indicates a student who may not be interested in playing club hockey but would still like to be involved in some way)
- i. Nicole Giordano
- j. Nolan Hart Stout
- k. Taylor Johns
- l. Jessicamarie Kaufman
- m. Bry Bishop
- n. Michael Messer
- o. Evan Cocke
- p. Scott Peel
- q. Joshua Walston*
- r. myself*
- s. I also heard that some upperclassmen formed a team and played in a league at the ice house in Greensboro
i. The ice house in Greensboro might have been fine for those of us that are already good skaters and players. However, the vast majority of us have little or no experience playing or skating. Ice time at the rink in Greensboro is limited and costs a lot over time. Obviously building our own rink costs a lot too. But at least it gives our students a way to get into hockey and practice.
ii. Also, I’m just gonna put this idea out there. I know that High Point bought Oak Hallow Mall sometime in the past six months. I don’t know what administration plans to do with the property, but it could be a nice spot to build this new rink. I imagine it could house some other facilities too that are independent from hockey. But laying down a sheet of ice somewhere in the property would basically eliminate the need to construct anything new, essentially cutting out 75% of the cost of starting a hockey program in the construction. Plus, I don’t know of a place on campus that is large enough to put an ice rink into without inconveniencing everyone. Also, trying to do construction on the campus anytime except summer just isn’t practical. And that idea in itself isn’t practical. So a few minutes off campus makes a lot of sense. Again, just putting that idea out there.
iii. It may be a good idea to offer hockey as an intramural sport as well for the students who don’t want to make the commitment to play club hockey, or who want to play but not in a highly competitive environment like club. Students in that category include Erin Karpovich, Josh Walston, and me.
This concludes the proposal. If you have questions, then I would be glad to answer them. Please leave them in the comments section below.