The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s new John Breslow Ice Hockey Center is proof that what happens in Vegas doesn’t always stay in Vegas.
During a Feb. 3 dedication ceremony of the ice center, the facility’s main benefactor, John Breslow, said the concept to build an indoor rink in Lincoln took root in Las Vegas.
“The whole idea came from a meeting in Las Vegas when some friends asked if I was interested in participating in this project,” said Breslow, a former Nebraska state auditor and former co-owner of the Phoenix Coyotes NHL team. “I committed to help with this with the idea that Sonia and I would be giving back to the community that did so much for us.”
Breslow and his wife, Sonia, gave $7 million toward the $11 million project. Remaining project funds were provided through a combination of private and public sources.
Breslow is a graduate of the University of Nebraska who launched successful careers in business and politics while living in Lincoln.
“Sitting here thinking about my roots and I realize I’m really a product of Lincoln, Nebraska,” Breslow said. “I was born at Lincoln General Hospital, went to school at Merle Beattie Elementary, Irving Junior High and Lincoln Southeast, and barely graduated from the University of Nebraska. Sonia and I also raised three daughters in Lincoln. For us, this project is all about giving back.”
The Breslow Ice Hockey Center, which opened Dec. 15, features a single NHL-sized sheet of ice for sports clubs, intramural sports leagues and activities, and public recreational ice skating. The facility is managed by Rink Management Services, a national leader in ice rink operations, in partnership with UNL’s Campus Recreation and Lincoln Parks and Recreation.
Louis Lombardo, a regional manager for Rink Management Services, said more than 10,000 people have skated or attended events at the Breslow Ice Hockey Center since it opened. The UNL Hockey Club’s first game at the center on Jan. 22 drew more than 1,000 fans to the facility.
“In just a few short weeks since this facility opened, it has been in constant use,” said Chancellor Harvey Perlman. “The calendar has been filled with ice-related sports clubs, including hockey, figure skating, curling and broom ball, as well as intramural sports and public recreational ice skating.”
More than 200 attended the Feb. 3 dedication, which featured presentations by John Breslow; Perlman; Chris Beutler, mayor of Lincoln; Tim Clare, University of Nebraska regent; and Brian Hastings, president and chief executive officer of the University of Nebraska Foundation.
“This was a dream that has been realized and is well done,” Breslow said. “We look forward to coming back and watching all of the activities in this building. There will be so many enjoyable moments in the future from generation to generation.”
For more information on the John Breslow Ice Hockey Center, including information on public skate times and other scheduled activities, click here.