Columbia Ice Arena: Fridley, MN

July 2, 2012

Columbia Arena: Rotting since 2005

University Avenue in Fridley is one abandoned building after another. If you think it’s bad today, it used to be much, much worse. Abandoned fast food restaurants and other vacant businesses littered each side of the road. Unfortunately, I never got around to photographing them. Today’s (short) post shows one of State Highway 47′s biggest eyesores: the Columbia Ice Arena.

The National Sports Center operated the indoor skating ice rink until 2005, when they sold it off to a developer. The developer then flipped the property and sold it to an individual who was going to use the building as some sort of storage facility. It never happened and here the building sits.

Emilio Estevaz once walked through these doors…

Supposedly, Minnesota is the state of hockey, and even though I’m not a hockey fan, I suppose that is the case. Growing up, it seemed like every boy in the neighborhood was on some sort of traveling hockey team. The closest I ever came to playing hockey outside of gym class was when I worked at McDonalds. At closing time, we’d play hockey on the floor with the frozen chicken nuggets. Good times.

The “State of Hockey” lots its professional hockey team in the ’90s…

Remember the Mighty Ducks movie craze of the ’90s? Columbia Ice Arena was one of the filming spots for the movie (I’m not sure which one, exactly, or if it was all three).  I swear, every kid who grew up in Minnesota in the ’80s and ’90s knew SOMEONE who was in a Mighty Ducks movie. Off the top of my head, I can think of four people myself.

“I wanna ride the Zamboni!”

Supposedly, it’s going to be redeveloped into senior housing, but the last update I saw regarding that was in December 2010.

The weeds grow tall at the Columbia Ice Arena

Looking for interior photos? This article has them.

Photos taken June 2012

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7 Responses to Columbia Ice Arena: Fridley, MN

  1. Codi on July 2, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    I have two very different memories of this ice arena. I used to take figure skating lessons there in 4th-6th grades, which would have been 1992-1996 (or near there). Then again, as a rebellious teenager, I attended a rave at the arena (remember raves? Yeah, they were awful), probably in the summer of 2000.

  2. Matthew on July 2, 2012 at 9:17 PM

    Chops, Inc. Drum & Bugle Corps used to have weekly rehearsals in the parking lot of this building in the summer of 2001. We had access to the inside if we needed the bathroom… The giant banner proudly stated that “Mighty Ducks 3″ was filmed there.

  3. Codi on July 3, 2012 at 8:22 AM

    I remember the boy in 6th grade we all thought was just THE coolest because he was in Mighty Ducks.

  4. TG on July 9, 2012 at 8:57 AM

    The current owner of this place (Bill Fogerty) is also the owner of another Dumpy Strip Malls entry: Shoreview Mall!

  5. TheOldScowl on July 10, 2012 at 11:08 AM

    I see the Columbia Arena, and it says to me, “I am to be Xanadu II: RollerDiscoRama” Do you think that Olivia Newton John could be invited to cut the ribbon on opening night?

  6. Jared on July 14, 2012 at 12:21 PM

    Perfect place to shoot a horror film. It looks really spooky late in the day/night.

  7. Stevie B. on July 17, 2012 at 9:12 AM

    Sadly, this was “Home Ice” for my college hockey team.

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