Wednesday, December 07, 2011
At the Rinks: The CRIC
It isn't too often that I add new features to the site, but I think this will be a successful one. Each week I will attend a local high school hockey game and submit a review of the rink. This week: The Coon Rapids Ice Arena, or more affectionately dubbed "The CRIC".
Last Saturday I attended the first boy's high school game at The CRIC, a contest between Coon Rapids and Robbinsdale Armstrong. While the game itself was a fairly exciting 3-3 tie, I was more concerned with the surroundings.
While anything's an improvement over their previous home, Cook Memorial Arena, I felt The CRIC did a number of things well. First off, it was very bright inside, almost to the point of needing sunglasses. The ice sheet was very well illuminated and the arena had a nice set of windows along the top of the wall for plenty of natural sunlight. And although their are only bleachers on one side of the rink, they were marginally comfortable.
Concession-wise they leave much to be desired. After learning from an inside source that the hot dogs were puny, I opted for a personal pizza. What I got was a small microwaved Red Baron. I don't know if I'd expect more, but it just wasn't very tasty. Outside of the usual nachos and pretzel offerings I didn't see much variety.
The atmosphere also lagged a bit. The crowd wasn't into the game and the music played between puck stoppages reminded me of the selection played across the street at the roller rink. I did enjoy, however, the intermission music they played during a team timeout...it was straight from the Common Man's progrum; presumably a shout out to Coach Mileski.
Overall, I give the place a B-. Great, well-lit building with a poor crowd and bad pizza.
Next up: The St. Louis Park Rec. Center.