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.
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.
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.
Supposedly, it’s going to be redeveloped into senior housing, but the last update I saw regarding that was in December 2010.
Looking for interior photos? This Patch.com article has them.
Photos taken June 2012