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Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

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  • Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

    I've detected an undercurrent of opinion that maybe it's time for Union College to think up a major upgrade to Messa Rink or perhaps a new facility. Saturday's packed house at the RPI game highlighted many of the problems, to name a few: overcrowded uncomfortable seating, lines into the hallways for the restrooms, limited concession facilities, nonexistent parking, poor HVAC, inaudible PA system, lack of replay scoreboard, and the list goes on. Yes the place can provide a good atmosphere, but if the program which is making strides on the ice wants to draw more fans, more consistently, then I think steps need to be taken to accommodate the fans. I know times are very tough with the economy but other schools are doing it. Shouldn't "U"?

  • #2
    Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

    Yes, this. Division I teams should play in Division I buildings.
    Keep an open mind. Just don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out.

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    • #3
      Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

      Didn't Union dump some money into the place in 2004 or so?

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      • #4
        Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

        Originally posted by Puck Swami View Post
        Didn't Union dump some money into the place in 2004 or so?
        shhhh

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        • #5
          Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

          You forgot zambonis running over t-shirts.
          Keep an open mind. Just don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out.

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          • #6
            Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

            Originally posted by Red Cloud View Post
            You forgot zambonis running over t-shirts.
            Who could ever forget that?
            sigpic

            Let's Go 'Tute!

            Maxed out at 2,147,483,647 at 10:00 AM EDT 9/17/07.

            2012 Poser Of The Year

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            • #7
              Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

              I think Union would have a hard time justifying getting a new rink when this current rink almost never sells out. I could, however, see them making improvements in the places you mentioned. I wish Wold had donated money to go towards a new hockey rink rather than the new science and engineering center which is currently under construction now.

              I wish they would sell beer at games too. Do any college hockey rinks do that?
              LET'S GO UNION DA DA DADADA

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              • #8
                Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                Originally posted by UnionHockeyManiac View Post
                I think Union would have a hard time justifying getting a new rink when this current rink almost never sells out. I could, however, see them making improvements in the places you mentioned. I wish Wold had donated money to go towards a new hockey rink rather than the new science and engineering center which is currently under construction now.

                I wish they would sell beer at games too. Do any college hockey rinks do that?
                Beer is a poor substitute for anesthesia.
                Here we come!

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                • #9
                  Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                  Originally posted by UnionHockeyManiac View Post
                  I think Union would have a hard time justifying getting a new rink when this current rink almost never sells out.
                  It wouldn't have to be much bigger capacity-wise, just better designed as far as the seating is concerned. The building just doesn't work for a redesign in place, though.

                  Besides, if you're selling out ALL of your games, that means you have excess demand and could use a bigger capacity. That in and of itself would be a problem. But if you can sell 3k tickets when RPI or Cornell come to down, why not build a 3k capacity rink?

                  The bigger problem is getting Union administration to go for it.

                  I wish they would sell beer at games too. Do any college hockey rinks do that?
                  A bunch. Off the top of my head, BU, Mankato, Denver, and UAA all have alcohol that I've been to. Unfortunately it's an ECAC rule, plus on-campus rinks in New York, I suspect, are doubly banned by state law.
                  Keep an open mind. Just don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                    Originally posted by UnionHockeyManiac View Post
                    I think Union would have a hard time justifying getting a new rink when this current rink almost never sells out. I could, however, see them making improvements in the places you mentioned. I wish Wold had donated money to go towards a new hockey rink rather than the new science and engineering center which is currently under construction now.

                    I wish they would sell beer at games too. Do any college hockey rinks do that?
                    You're absolutely right in that the rink almost never sells out. However, have a decent string of years where you're consistently getting winning seasons, maybe even a D-I banner or two, and the general attendance figures will go up. You guys are already on a good start to that. Keep it up, and the demand will rise. I know on RPI's thread there was talk about the bandwagon fans. You may be able to convert them to die-hards after a few great seasons, and then you'll consistently sell out Messa, and then finally have need for a new rink.

                    To benefit Messa, though, one thing that I like about the rink is the echoing acoustics. Having been in the band for a couple years, it was really nice playing in that shell on the stage; easily heard. And with a booming voice like mine, cheers were easily started (and subsequently hi-jacked, of course).

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                    • #11
                      Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                      Originally posted by UnionHockeyManiac View Post
                      I think Union would have a hard time justifying getting a new rink when this current rink almost never sells out. I could, however, see them making improvements in the places you mentioned. I wish Wold had donated money to go towards a new hockey rink rather than the new science and engineering center which is currently under construction now.

                      I wish they would sell beer at games too. Do any college hockey rinks do that?
                      If you build it they will come? How many people stay away from games because there is no parking within a 10 minute walk of the arena on a 5 degree night? How many people stay away because they have a difficult time navigating the bleachers? How many people are frustrated with the lack of facilities? These things should be considered along with average attendance.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                        Simply cannot imagine a new rink, or even talk of one, unless a major donor steps forward. The rink did get about $1.5 million in upgrades a few years back, (thanks to the rink's namesake, Frank Messa) mostly for a non visible components such as weight rooms, dehumidification system, etc.

                        I don't know what a ballpark figure would be, but I'd imagine a high 7 figure, if not an 8 figure, donation would be needed to make the concept of a new rink a reality and those don't come Union's way very often.

                        The other thing to consider would be some sort of massive renovation to Messa where the seating area is completely redone, but at that point, it just may make more sense to tear the entire thing down and start over.

                        Union has been for decades a school that simply does not have the same amount of money with the schools it wants to compete with (academically). And with the endowment (albeit recovering) dropping by over 25%, the school is never going to fork over serious money for a new rink (in my opinion).
                        2008-2009 ECAC Pick The Standings Contest Champ!

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                        • #13
                          Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                          The rink was built 35 years ago as a Division III facility. The rehab of a few years ago was badly needed as the original refrigeration system had become badly outdated. I remember a persistent hole developing in the ice which required delays and a slushie.

                          Unfortunately, the 2 or so million dollars they put into the place went only to those badly needed infrastructure improvements, frameless glass and locker room and training facilities, for the most part, i.e. with the exception of the glass, things that didn't improve the fan experience. Haven't even mentioned the totally inadequate box office and staff and windowless coaching offices. There were no more rest rooms, nonbleacher seats except for a few godawful plastic back benches, etc. If Union remains a good program, the rink will become or some may say, remain, a joke.

                          I don't think capacity is the issue as sellouts are relatively rare occurrences. The current capacity or maybe 2,500 or so would be fine if the place was more fan friendly. Unfortunately, there probably couldn't be a worse time to consider this from an economic standpoint.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                            Originally posted by Union93 View Post
                            Simply cannot imagine a new rink, or even talk of one, unless a major donor steps forward.
                            Yep.
                            National Champions 2014!
                            Cleary Cup Champions 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017!
                            Whitelaw Cup Champions 2012, 2013, 2014!!!
                            Let's Go U!!!

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                            • #15
                              Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                              Originally posted by SlyFoxMan7 View Post
                              If you build it they will come? How many people stay away from games because there is no parking within a 10 minute walk of the arena on a 5 degree night? How many people stay away because they have a difficult time navigating the bleachers? How many people are frustrated with the lack of facilities? These things should be considered along with average attendance.
                              Although a different situation (at the time, trying to get into the WCHA), Bemidji State used this argument as well - that the low attendance is partly because of a poor facility (plastic pull-out bleachers akin to a high school gym, amongst other issues) - now, assuming attendance rises next year in the new rink, there will be several factors - the WCHA, the new building, better play of the last few years, etc. Heck - the same has been said here - people refuse to go because they don't want to sit on the plastic bleachers for several hours, and many are thrilled that the seats will have chair-backs...
                              Current NCAA D-I rinks I've been to:

                              AHA:
                              B1G: UMinn, UWisc
                              ECAC:
                              HEA: UMass, Notre Dame
                              NCHC: UMD, UND, SCSU, WMU
                              WCHA: UAH, BSU, FSU, LSSU, MSU, MTU, NMU

                              Inactive: BSU, UMD, UND, NMU, Notre Dame

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