The Free Press, Mankato, MN


May 20, 2014

Frederick: For arena upgrades, waiting's been the hardest part


Just 13 years old, the building is 6 years younger than the Mankato building.

Mankato put in a new floor and rink system last summer and replaced the old red and blue seats with more appropriate purple ones.

That was just a start, according to plans shown to members of the legislative bonding committees a few months ago.

Drawings showed an ambitious redesign of the arena’s guts with new dressing rooms for the men’s and women’s teams on the west side of the rink, as well as visiting-team and youth locker rooms moved to the east side.

Also, there were coaches offices and a recruiting area, as well as a player lounge and space for athletic training, dryland workouts (weight room, etc.), and dining.

Seemed like the only thing not included in the project was video scoreboard capable of showing replays, which is a must someday.

Last August, Mankato City Manager Pat Hentges said that, after a recent tour of Bemidji’s now 4-year-old Sanford Center, the Verizon Wireless Center upgrades “will be far and away classier.”

Can’t wait to see it.

Shane Frederick is a Free Press staff writer. Read his blog at and follow him on Twitter @puckato.

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