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

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  • #16
    Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

    Originally posted by Wholin1 View Post
    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.
    Having lived in Schenectady in the early 80's while working for GE (Gillespie Street apt and my parish was St. Anthony's over on Seward), it seems to me that it'll be a challenge to find an on-campus site for a new/renewed rink and some additional parking. The current town/gown relationship probably wouldn't support the college taking a new property off the current city tax roll. How much would your administration be willing to work for this project?
    Last edited by fr joe; 01-18-2010, 09:02 PM.
    Here we come!

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    • #17
      Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

      Originally posted by Wholin1 View Post
      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.
      Well if, for the sake of this thread, we ignore the two largest issues - money and institutional support - then the obvious question becomes where?

      If memory serves, 4 or 5 years ago the U admin. proposed building an off campus rink (I think renovating the former Center City rink was one idea). This idea was submitted to for student approval and was summarily shot down. IMO, this was as dumb a decision as any admin. could make - that being allowing one class of students to dictate the future home of the hockey program. Now, 4 (or 5 ) years later those kids are long gone and the Dutch are still stuck playing in a DOT rock salt bunker.

      Just imagine if they had moved downtown -- U fans would very likely now be playing games in the newly gentrified strip of Broadway near Proctors, with plenty of nearby parking, restaurants and watering holes.
      ""Ralph is the Chuck Norris of this board. Ralph doesnt sleep he just waits." - fishcore12

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      • #18
        Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

        We generally know where Pres. Roger Hull stood on hockey so let's not go there again , but so far the jury is out on where new Pres. Ainlay stands and I have no idea if its even close to being on the horizon. In the past the college wanted the prestige if you will, of being in a Division 1 program with the likes of the Ivies and other quality educational institutions, but didn't want to pay the price, literally and figuratively of being competitive at that level in terms of facilities and related expenses.

        I have no idea where this will go if anywhere. I do agree that an on campus facility seems impractical without further campus expansion. The idea of participating in a "renaissance" downtown is appealing as Wicked alluded, but it looks like that ship has sailed. Anyway, if a big benefactor steps up, I think somehow it could happen.

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        • #19
          Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

          At the very least the idea should be floated around and talked about even if it's somewhat unlikely.

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          • #20
            Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

            Originally posted by Wicked Slappaahs View Post
            ..and the Dutch are still stuck playing in a DOT rock salt bunker.
            I knew it reminded me of something.. THAT'S IT!!!

            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.
            The reason people have stayed away is because the on-ice product has been mostly (ahem) not so good.. hopefully that is changing though and maybe the admin will start to think about it at some point, though I suspect will take a few years of good teams and increased attendance to reach that point.

            Qpac's rink/bouncy ball court cost $52M so could probably divide that by 2 to get a rough estimate of a new ~3000 seat facility - definitely at least $15-20M. But Union93's points are probably valid that unless a BIG donor antes up, it won't happen anytime soon. As for location, I've always thought across from Alumni Gym would work and could then bulldoze the Igloo for more parking..

            Too bad because I think a major rehab of Messa is problematic at best. The last rehab resulted in lost capacity, and improved seating space, etc. in the same footprint would reduce it even more. And there is no way to make a circle bigger except by going up (adding an upper deck) which would probably cost close to a brand new facility and would make the place look like a farm silo.. as a history lesson, the original rink was built very quickly (I think in less than a year) so it would be ready for the start of the season and there was obviously little thought given to having a facility that could be expanded if need be. FWIW, it was the envy of most everyone in D-II at the time
            Last edited by ADK11; 01-19-2010, 12:44 PM.
            UNIONNY HOCKEY - Not in Kentucky anymore..

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            • #21
              Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

              Originally posted by Wholin1 View Post
              I have no idea where this will go if anywhere. I do agree that an on campus facility seems impractical without further campus expansion. The idea of participating in a "renaissance" downtown is appealing as Wicked alluded, but it looks like that ship has sailed. Anyway, if a big benefactor steps up, I think somehow it could happen.
              Supposedly they are still planning what to do with the City Center in downtown, but I don't think there is even an inkling of putting a rink in it..
              UNIONNY HOCKEY - Not in Kentucky anymore..

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              • #22
                Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                Originally posted by Wicked Slappaahs View Post
                Well if, for the sake of this thread, we ignore the two largest issues - money and institutional support - then the obvious question becomes where?

                If memory serves, 4 or 5 years ago the U admin. proposed building an off campus rink (I think renovating the former Center City rink was one idea). This idea was submitted to for student approval and was summarily shot down. IMO, this was as dumb a decision as any admin. could make - that being allowing one class of students to dictate the future home of the hockey program. Now, 4 (or 5 ) years later those kids are long gone and the Dutch are still stuck playing in a DOT rock salt bunker.

                Just imagine if they had moved downtown -- U fans would very likely now be playing games in the newly gentrified strip of Broadway near Proctors, with plenty of nearby parking, restaurants and watering holes.

                9 years ago they wanted to build a new arena I believe enar the corner of Erie and Union. That never got too far and was probably doomed anyway, but environmental concerns with the property killed it.

                13 years ago, Hull wanted to build a rink jointly with the city (I forget the location now) and that rink was all set to be built until the students (including both hockey teams) revolted and got the school to scrap the plans. The main complaint was the distance from campus and students didn't want to walk there. I want to say the location was somewhere near downtown, so close to campus. Although downtown Schenectady in the mid 90's...


                Originally posted by ADK11
                Too bad because I think a major rehab of Messa is problematic at best. The last rehab resulted in lost capacity, and improved seating space, etc. in the same footprint would reduce it even more. And there is no way to make a circle bigger except by going up (adding an upper deck) which would probably cost close to a brand new facility and would make the place look like a farm silo..
                \

                The last "major" rehab was a just a skeleton of what they originally planned until the funding got messed up last second. They were actually going to go the complete opposite of hat you envisioned though. Instead of going up, the rehab plan was to go down and drop the ice surface to the abandoned curling area in the basement.



                I know I am in the minority on this, but I love bench seating in college arenas. I think all of them should have at least some bench seating even if it's limited to just the upper seating. Though the benches at Messa/Achilles are way way too close together and it's no fun watching a game with a knee in your back. (Which is why I always used to sit top row where WRUC now broadcasts)
                National Champions 2014!
                Cleary Cup Champions 2011, 2012, 2014, 2017!
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                Let's Go U!!!

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                • #23
                  Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                  Originally posted by ADK11 View Post
                  Qpac's rink/bouncy ball court cost $52M so could probably divide that by 2 to get a rough estimate of a new ~3000 seat facility - definitely at least $15-20M. But Union93's points are probably valid that unless a BIG donor antes up, it won't happen anytime soon. As for location, I've always thought across from Alumni Gym would work and could then bulldoze the Igloo for more parking..
                  They would probably have to return Frank Messa''s $2M. I think Qpac has the only rink in the ECAC which sold naming rights commercially. Does anyone have an idea how much TD Bank paid or pays for that? I say we go to Price Chopper and see if they want to get back into hockey.

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                  • #24
                    Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                    Originally posted by ADK11 View Post
                    Supposedly they are still planning what to do with the City Center in downtown, but I don't think there is even an inkling of putting a rink in it..
                    To the best of my knowledge, the plans for the arena space include a YMCA, no rink anywhere in sight. There is a bunch of space still open in the building, but for the most part it's all commercial/office space.
                    APBWiki

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                    • #25
                      Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                      Originally posted by Rolevio View Post
                      I know I am in the minority on this, but I love bench seating in college arenas. I think all of them should have at least some bench seating even if it's limited to just the upper seating. Though the benches at Messa/Achilles are way way too close together and it's no fun watching a game with a knee in your back. (Which is why I always used to sit top row where WRUC now broadcasts)
                      I'm not against bleacher seating per se, but the Achilles layout is not only downright uncomfortable but I think dangerous as well. The risers are way too high and can lead to a falldown hazard IMO, especially for the young, elderly or infirm. I doubt if they meet current code. Also, as usual when there is a capacity crowd, this weekend had fans sitting in the aisles which is a definite safety hazard. The security officers spend their time keeping people away from the glass but I've never seen one try to keep the aisles clear.

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                      • #26
                        Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                        Originally posted by Wholin1 View Post
                        I'm not against bleacher seating per se, but the Achilles layout is not only downright uncomfortable but I think dangerous as well. The risers are way too high and can lead to a falldown hazard IMO, especially for the young, elderly or infirm. I doubt if they meet current code. Also, as usual when there is a capacity crowd, this weekend had fans sitting in the aisles which is a definite safety hazard. The security officers spend their time keeping people away from the glass but I've never seen one try to keep the aisles clear.
                        It doesn't help matters when the ushers alternate between being section nazis and yukking it up with co-workers. I don't recall seeing them do too much work up in the regular seating to make sure folks can find their way or keep things in check.
                        R.I.P. NASC/MCLA Mohawks Hockey

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                        • #27
                          Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                          Originally posted by Rolevio View Post
                          I know I am in the minority on this, but I love bench seating in college arenas. I think all of them should have at least some bench seating even if it's limited to just the upper seating. Though the benches at Messa/Achilles are way way too close together and it's no fun watching a game with a knee in your back. (Which is why I always used to sit top row where WRUC now broadcasts)
                          This problem (the bench seating being designed for Ethiopians circa 1987) plus the seat nazis yelling at you to SIT DOWN in those cramped seats. The kind of thing that just makes you root for the game to be over more than anything else.
                          Keep an open mind. Just don't be so open-minded that your brain falls out.

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                          • #28
                            Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                            Originally posted by GreatLakerMohawk View Post
                            It doesn't help matters when the ushers alternate between being section nazis and yukking it up with co-workers. I don't recall seeing them do too much work up in the regular seating to make sure folks can find their way or keep things in check.
                            I've never actually seen an usher per se and there is often confusion in seating when new fans come in who happen to be the people you want to come back. Even in the new Yankee Stadium they had people walking around with "Can I help you signs?" The security officers are generally on the rude to disinterested side, particularly that woman whose name I don't know. She usually stands by the referee's entrance and yells at me when I am standing close to the end glass, which I like to do from time to time. I admit however that I am a particularly sensitive individual.

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                            • #29
                              Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                              Wholin - I was at the first game of the year against Maine and I bought a "box seat" because I hate the bench seating, and this particular usher (read: protector of the stairs) kept insisting that I wanted to enter in a different stairwell and I had to keep telling her that my seat was right in her section. It was just silly, but she was too busy talking to her co-workers and Union regulars to care. Small sample size I know, at least for this year, but I've run into these problems there before with the staff. Seems like its not uncommon though from what you're saying.
                              R.I.P. NASC/MCLA Mohawks Hockey

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                              • #30
                                Re: Let's No Messa round, Time for a New Union Rink

                                Originally posted by GreatLakerMohawk View Post
                                Wholin - I was at the first game of the year against Maine and I bought a "box seat" because I hate the bench seating, and this particular usher (read: protector of the stairs) kept insisting that I wanted to enter in a different stairwell and I had to keep telling her that my seat was right in her section. It was just silly, but she was too busy talking to her co-workers and Union regulars to care. Small sample size I know, at least for this year, but I've run into these problems there before with the staff. Seems like its not uncommon though from what you're saying.
                                I think I may be overreacting a bit and don't want to paint a totally negative picture. I do think that many rinks have volunteer ushers or greeters and maybe some thought should be given to this at Messa, if big crowds become the norm. They should definitely do so in the new rink.

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