A whole new level of cool has come to recreation facilities at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.
With a fresh sheet of ice adorned with the Nebraska Iron “N” and chilled to 23 degrees Fahrenheit, the $11 million John Breslow Ice Hockey Center — UNL’s first indoor rink — opened to the public Dec. 15. The 53,000-square-foot facility at 433 V St. offers a single, NHL-sized sheet of ice that will be open 50 weeks a year for sports clubs, intramural leagues and public recreation.
Rink Management Services, a national leader in ice rink operations, manages the facility, partnering with UNL’s Campus Recreation and Lincoln Parks and Recreation for programming. One of the first events at the facility is SkateFest, a free, open to the public training session that will be led by U.S. Figure Skating representatives on Dec. 19.
“The Breslow Ice Hockey Center is a gorgeous, modern facility that will offer ice access year round, from sports like hockey, broomball and curling to public skating and lessons,” said Louis Lombardo, a regional manager for Rink Management Services. “It is going to be a great addition to the city of Lincoln and the university.”
The facility is home to the UNL Hockey Club, which previously has played and practiced in Fremont. UNL’s curling and broomball clubs also have access to the facility, as do intramural leagues offered through Campus Recreation.
“Being able to finally play and practice in Lincoln is going to help us recruit players and fans,” said Nate Sandercock, president of UNL hockey. “We can’t wait to play our first game in a state-of-the-art facility that’s very red and made for the Huskers.
“That first game is going to be a lot of fun.”
The first Husker hockey game scheduled for the Breslow Ice Hockey Center is Jan. 22 against Iowa State University. For more information on the UNL hockey club, go to http://www.huskerhockey.com.
The rink is available for Lincoln-area sports teams to rent for practices and games. It also offers drop-in hockey games and skating lessons alongside regular public skating times.
“We are strong supporters of making ice available to the public, especially to kids interested in ice sports,” Lombardo said. “And, we make it a priority to offer public skate sessions at reasonable times during the day.”
Half of the operating hours on weekdays and weekends are reserved for community rentals. Public skating is available a minimum of 16 hours each month.
John Breslow, a former Nebraska state auditor and minority owner of the NHL’s Phoenix Coyotes, provided a $7 million donation that launched the rink build. Additional funding was provided by the West Haymarket Joint Public Agency ($2 million), UNL ($1 million), donor support ($1 million) and the City of Lincoln ($200,000 and the land for the facility).
Along with the sheet of ice, the rink offers five public locker rooms, two locker rooms for college teams, three party rooms for rent, a conference room, warming room, concession stand, skate rental counter and skate sharpening services.
For more information on the John Breslow Ice Hockey Center, go to http://www.breslowhockeycenter.com.