Thursday, November 04, 2004

Luxurious Leather and Pucks

That's right -- pucks, as in hockey. Even though the NHL and it's players are shooting themselves in the collective foot, there is hockey going on this year. It may not be as popular as college football or hoops, but college hockey is a great sport to watch that has certain isolated patches of popularity determined by geography.

North Dakota represents one of those hockey hotbeds. I just read in Sports Illustrated on Campus about Ralph Engerstad Arena, home of the University of North Dakota hockey team, which opened in 2001. Fans of the Fighting Sioux enjoy, in what the magazine calls "The Taj Mahal of Arenas", 11,400 leather chairs with armrests cut out from Valley Forge cherry wood. When you take hockey as seriously as these folks, why not splurge a bit and make your surroundings truly world class? I'm sure it's an impressive site for potential recruits as well, and a site that basketball players are likely not to see when they enter college hoops arenas.

While it may be the nicest hockey arena in the country, and it certainly is a badass facility, I'll give a nod to the history and the quaint charm of Ann Arbor's Yost Ice Arena.


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