History

The current ice arena was built in the 1975 by local citizens as a temporary facility. The city purchased it in 1984. Nearly 45 years later, it stands as the only indoor ice facility in the Northfield and Dundas area.

In Northfield's November 2008 Comprehensive Plan, the Municipal Facilities Space Needs Assessment was cited, which concluded that the current ice arena is no longer keeping up with current demands -- specifically, issues related to ADA accessibility, locker rooms and seating capacity were referenced. 

Northfield Ice Arena Advisory Board

In 2016, the City of Northfield convened an advisory committee -- the Northfield Ice Arena Advisory Board -- to assist and guide staff in a thorough review of current ice arena conditions, assess needs and demands, evaluate cost sand alternative facility options resulting in recommendations to be presented to the City Council. For 19 months the board met, reviewing options for how to best address the deficiencies of the facility while balancing the recreational needs of the community.

Full agendas and meeting minutes of the Northfield Ice Arena Advisory Board can be found on the City of Northfield's website. Key documents presented throughout the process include: 

facility Options

The following is a summary of the analysis the Northfield Ice Arena Advisory Board completed.

Maintain the existing arena | $1.3 million over 10 years, assuming regular maintenance

  • Substandard facility – insufficient and unsafe locker rooms, bathrooms, meeting rooms, and lobby
  • Not ADA compliant – difficult for mobility impaired patrons
  • No subsoil heating system
  • Refrigeration unit is being phased out
  • Insufficient parking
  • Not a regulation-sized rink
  • No option for 2nd sheet of ice
  • Facility is past its useful life span and will need to be upgraded or replaced in the near future despite this maintenance

Upgrade the existing facility | $7 million

  • ADA compliant, remains difficult for mobility impaired patrons
  • o increase in spectator seating
  • No heating system for non-ice events
  • No sub-soil heating system – no additional ice will be available
  • Insufficient parking
  • No option for 2nd sheet of ice

Partner with St. Olaf to build a second rink on their property | $17.2 million

  • Costs more to connect to Skoglund and finishing will be required
  • Need to build a road to North Avenue
  • Access to the St. Olaf arena will be very limited during the non-school hours that is needed for youth hockey and skating school programming
  • There would be no option to add a needed second community rink

Build a single-sheet ice arena | $15.9 million

  • 7 acres of land donated to Northfield Hockey Association close to amenities (estimated value = $850,000)
  • Option to expand to a second sheet of ice
  • Will allow ice to be utilized year-round
  • Sufficient locker rooms, meeting rooms, bathrooms and lobby space
  • Will not allow for indoor land sports, conventions or other community uses.

Single Sheet Ice Arena

$6.8 million from property taxes over 20 years

Build a community civic center | $21.2 million

  • 7 acres of land donated to Northfield Hockey Association close to amenities.  
  • Multi-use, modern facility that is ADA compliant, up to code, safe for users and spectators, and useable by the entire community
  • One sheet will have ice year-round, second sheet will be removed in spring/summer months for other civic uses to be determined
  • Economic impact to the Northfield area: $1.3-1.8 million annually

community civic center

$8.8 million from property taxes over 20 years.