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RinkAtlas Research into Closed Arenas in Southern California

Over the years, the Southern California area has experienced tremendous turnover as old single-sheet ice arenas have opened and closed in many different locations.

Our goal at RinkAtlas is to document all of the places where ice hockey is being and has been played throughout North America. We have a project to document all of the closed arenas we can find. These are buildings that used to be hockey arenas and are used for a different purpose, or buildings that were demolished and other buildings were built in their places.

Obviously a ton of research into former Southern California ice arenas was done by Joseph (Joe) Nix one his Bygone Rinks web page. We are beginning with a list of arenas that he mentioned on Bygone Rinks, and adding information that we find in our own research.

Here is a list of arenas that we are aware of in the Southern California area that are not currently in the RinkAtlas directory because we have not completed research on them. The list is in alphabetical order, and any information we have about the arena is listed below its name:

  • Bakersfield Ice Chalet
  • Bakersfield Ice Palace
  • Big Bear Lake Rink
  • Camp Seeley Winter Carnival, San Bernardino Mountains
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • City Skate of Palm Desert
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Conejo Valley Ice Skating Center, Newbury Park
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Culver City Arena
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Culver City Roller Rink, which had a possible ice rink, Washington Place between Venice and Washington Blvd
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Culver City Studio Rink, reportedly at 5575 Sepulveda Blvd
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • El Cajon Arena, El Cajon
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Fresno Skating Rinks, a series of places
    • according to http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Glacier Falls Ice Arena, Anaheim
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Glacier Gardens, San Diego
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • House of Ice, La Mesa
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Ice Capades Chalet, Brea
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Ice Capades Chalet, Santa Monica
    • Set for Sylvester Stallone – Talia Shire skating scene in “Rocky”
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
    • Set for “Rockford Files”, Episode: “Feeding Frenzy”
    • http://rockfordfilesfilminglocations.blogspot.com/2013/01/need-help-identifying-this-filming.html
  • Ice Castle International Training Center, Lake Arrowhead-Blue Jay
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Ice Chalet, Costa Mesa
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Ice Garden, Cathedral City
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Ice Garden, La Quinta
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Icon Skating Center, Sylmar
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Ice Skating Palace, Los Angeles
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Irvine Ice Arena
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Klondike, Costa Mesa
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Lake Murray Boulevard Arena, La Mesa
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Los Angeles Memorial Sports Arena
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Melody Ice Gardens, Lancaster
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Mission Valley Ice Arena
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • North Hills Iceoplex, North Hills
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Norwalk Ice Arena
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Orange Belt Ice Gardens, Riverside
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Olympic Ice Gardens, Riverside
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Outdoor Ice Gardens, Big Bear Lake
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Pacific Beach Studio Rink, Pacific Beach
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Palais du Glace / Winter Garden, Los Angeles
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Pan Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Pasadena Winter Garden, Pasadena
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Polarink, Long Beach
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Polar Palace, La Habra
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Polar Palace, Los Angeles
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Santa Barbara Ice Patch, Santa Barbara
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Mack Sennett Studio Ice Rink, Los Angeles
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Schramm’s / Valley Gardens, North Hollywood
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Skate Zone, Huntington Beach
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Valley Ice Skating Center, Tarzana
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Vic Tanny’s Gym Ice Rink, San Diego
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Vic Tanny’s Gym Ice Rink, Santa Barbara
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Topanga Plaza Rink, Canoga Park
    • http://josephnix.com/scalrin1.html
  • Tropical Ice Gardens aka Westwood Palace of Ice, Los Angeles
    • “… once upon a time, when UCLA’s roots were barely sinking into the grounds of a blossoming area called Westwood, there was an outdoor skating rink open year-round for pros and amateurs alike.
      In October of 1938, Angelenos were anxiously awaiting the opening of what was billed as “one of the biggest sport and amusement enterprises in Los Angeles annals,” (Huge). Three hundred men were employed to work through the night to build the Tropical Ice Gardens, which would seat 10,000 spectators and accommodate 2000 ice skaters on its outdoor rink. The endeavor aimed to “bring to Westwood Village a corner of St. Moritz, with buildings creating an exact replica of an Alpine village, set in surroundings of stately palm trees and hibiscus….”
    • https://laist.com/2009/02/21/laistory_tropical_ice_gardens.php
  • Westbrook Ice Arena, Garden Grove
  • West Covina Ice Arena
  • Westminster Ice Palace, Westminster

Thanks to the RinkAtlas community members for their help in researching these arenas.

  • Mike McDevitt
  • Frank DiMarco

Dave Aiello from RinkAtlas Appears on Stick In Rink Podcast

On December 8, RinkAtlas founder Dave Aiello was interviewed by Isha Jahromi of the Stick In Rink Podcast. This podcast is based in Victoria, BC and focuses on the NHL and Junior Hockey with attention to hockey in the British Columbia and the Pacific Northwest.

In this 10 minute interview, Dave and Isha discuss RinkAtlas features and some of its history, a few of the differences between NCAA and ACHA hockey, and the significance of the cover photo on the RinkAtlas Twitter page.

In case you are curious, the name “Stick in Rink” refers to the logo of the Vancouver Canucks, which shows a hockey stick extending across a hockey rink.

Stick In Rink Podcast

The Stick In Rink podcast is available on iTunes, Soundcloud, and wherever fine podcasts are available.

(Note to readers: The Stick In Rink Podcast carries the EXPLICIT tag in the iTunes Podcast Directory. Although no inappropriate language was used in the interview, we caution parents about some of the language in other segments of the podcast.)

RinkAtlas Research into Closed Arenas in the Philadelphia Area

Over the years, the Philadelphia area has experienced tremendous turnover as old single-sheet ice arenas have closed and multi-sheet arenas have opened to replace them.

Our goal at RinkAtlas is to document all of the places where ice hockey is being and has been played throughout North America. We have a project to document all of the closed arenas we can find. These are buildings that used to be hockey arenas and are used for a different purpose, or buildings that were demolished and other buildings were built in their places.

Here is a list of arenas that we are aware of in the Philadelphia area that are not currently in the RinkAtlas directory because we have not completed research on them. The list is in alphabetical order, and any information we have about the arena is listed below its name:

  • Boulevard Ice Rink
  • Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, NJ
    • Added on January 10, 2019
  • Ice Palace
    • The previous use of the Palace Roller Rink on Roosevelt Boulevard in Philadelphia.
  • Melody Brook Ice Skating Center in Colmar, PA
    • Photo added on January 17, 2019
  • Philadelphia Arena
    • “With Orton’s prodding, a local entrepreneur built a new Ice Palace on Market Street between 45th and 46th streets as a multi-use facility and the first hockey game was played on 14 February 1921. It would later be renamed the Philadelphia Arena and serve as Penn’s hockey team’s home until 1968.”—from A letter: 115 years of ice hockey at Penn
  • Skateland Rink
  • The Skating Place
    • According to Andy Abramson: “…just south of Cottman on Roosevelt blvd. was called The Skating Place when it closed in the late 70s(?). It was also a bowling alley and there was a small amusement park next store.”
  • Upper Merion YMCA
    • According to Andy Abramson, this was the building used to be on the location of the Upper Merion Community Center.
  • Valley Forge Sports Garden
  • West Park Ice Palace
    • “In December 1897, however, the West Park Ice Palace at 52nd and Jefferson finally opened, giving the team a home. The program thrived until the end of the 1901 season when the Ice Palace burned down in a mysterious fire. It would be 20 years before a new arena replaced it.”— from A letter: 115 years of ice hockey at Penn
  • Westtown Rink

Thanks to the RinkAtlas community members from Philadelphia and originally from Philadelphia for their help in researching many of these arenas:

  • Andy Abramson
  • Mike McDevitt
  • Max Putter

New Page for Arena Photos from Outside of North America

We’re pleased to announce a new page called Arena Photos from Outside of North America. This is where we will keep photos that contributors send us of arenas that don’t currently exist in the RinkAtlas arena directory.

The first two photos on this page are from The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland. They were taken by Erik Holvig, who is one of the top photo contributors to RinkAtlas. Thanks for sharing these photos with us Erik!

Nearby Restaurants, Bars, Coffee Places, and Gas Stations are Back on RinkAtlas

I’m pleased to announce that we just restored the list of nearby restaurants, bars, coffee places, and gas stations to almost 4,700 arena information pages on RinkAtlas. This capability is one of the signature features of RinkAtlas, and something that we tweak constantly in order to provide the best possible information to our users across North America.

If you have questions or concerns about our nearby business searches, please let us know by tweeting us @RinkAtlas or commenting on our Facebook page.

RinkAtlas Gets Coffee
RinkAtlas Now Provides Listings of Coffee Places Near Arenas Throughout North America, to go along with nearby restaurants, bars, and gas stations / convenience stores.

Temporarily Reduced Search Options as a Result of Database Change

On July 24, we began the process of changing the database that powers the RinkAtlas website and API. This was the result of a decision by Google Cloud to sunset the database that RinkAtlas had been using since September 2016.

There are several significant differences between the database we’ve moved to and our previous database. As a result some of our query techniques had to be temporarily disabled.

Current Search Options

Here are the ways that the RinkAtlas database can be searched at the moment:

  • By Arena Name, currently limited to one word

If you enter one word contained in an arena’s name, you’ll be shown the listings for any matching arenas.

In other words, searching for “madison” will return Madison Ice Arena and Madison Square Garden.

Searching for “new” will return arenas like Aitken University Centre / University of New Brunswick, New England Sports Center, and New York Islanders Iceworks.

Pick the best single word that you can in the arena name. We’re working on multi-word searches, and hope to bring back that capability soon.

  • By City and State or Province

You can search for all of the arenas in one city by searching for the city and state abbreviation or the city and province abbreviation. The comma between city and state / province abbreviation is optional.

In other words, searching for “Troy, NY” will return Frear Park Ice Rink, Houston Field House / RPI / Rensselaer, Knickerbacker Arena, Robert M. Conway Arena / Hudson Valley Community College / HVCC.

Some of the largest and most interesting sets of arenas can be found by searching:

New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
Boston, MA
Minneapolis, MN

Montreal, QC
Montréal, QC
Toronto, ON
Winnipeg, MN
Regina, SK
Saskatoon, SK

  • By League

If you enter “NHL”, “AHL”, “ECAC”, “Hockey East”, “Atlantic Hockey”, “Big 10”, “NCHC”, “WCHA”, “CHA”, or “DVHL” without quotes, you’ll see arenas used by those leagues. You can also search for “cawlidge hawkey” to see a list of all NCAA Division I arenas (hat tip to John Buccigross).

  • By Zip Code or Postal Code

If you enter a U.S. Zip Code or Canadian Postal Code, you’ll see all of the arenas with addresses in that area.  Since both Zip Codes and Postal Codes are for relatively small areas, it’s somewhat difficult to find ones that contain multiple arenas. But that’s not the point.  The point of Zip Code and Postal Code searches is to find an arena which you are having difficulty finding using search by name.

The best example we’ve found of search by Zip Code returning multiple arenas is “12180”, the Zip Code for Troy, New York. If you enter “12180” without quotes, you’ll see Frear Park Ice Rink, Houston Field House / RPI / Rensselaer, Knickerbacker Arena, Robert M. Conway Arena / Hudson Valley Community College / HVCC.


The search options on RinkAtlas are now restored, with the exception of geo location searches. We are committed to recreating all of our search capabilities as soon as possible.

This article will be updated as we restore other search functions.

Thanks for your continued support and interest in RinkAtlas.

RinkAtlas is Rolling Out Arena Statistics

RinkAtlas Arena Stats
RinkAtlas is beginning to roll out statistics about arenas in our database.

We’re pleased to announce that RinkAtlas is rolling out statistics about arenas in our directory.  Right now, the statistics we’re providing are as follows:

  • Seating Capacity
  • Ice Dimensions
  • Opening Date (in cases where we do not know the exact opening date, we list the opening date as January 1 of the opening year)

These statistics are rolling out for arenas in NCAA Division I arenas first, followed by NHL, and AHL arenas, then smaller arenas in the states of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware.

Please let us know if you have any comments or questions about these new features.

Spreading the Word About Schulz Rink of Dreams

Schulz Rink of Dreams
Schulz Rink of Dreams (via “Schulz Rink of Dreams” Facebook Page)

Last night we learned of a unique hockey rink in a giant farm shed on a farm in Madison Lake, a small town in Southeastern Minnesota.  It’s called Schulz Rink of Dreams in honor of the late Paul Schulz.

Schulz was a hockey fan of epic proportions.  His love of hockey was so great that when he needed to build a shed to store his farm equipment, he built one with floor space in excess of 200 by 85 feet, and overhead clearance of 15 to 20 feet; So that some day, in the winter, he could convert the shed into an indoor hockey rink.

At some point, Paul acquired a complete set of used arena boards and plexiglass from an arena that was replacing them.  Thirteen years ago– before he assembled the Rink of Dreams for the first time, Paul also bought a used, 1962 Zamboni ice resurfacer.

With great effort, he assembled all of this equipment into a complete ice hockey rink with natural ice.  He offered this ice surface to all comers in his community for free.

After the first season of operation, Paul died of a heart attack, while planting his fields for the growing season.

In the 12 seasons since he passed away, Paul’s widow Stacy Schulz-Pope, Paul’s family, and friends have reassembled and successfully operated the rink.

After seeing this story online, we decided to add Schulz Rink of Dreams as the 4,650th arena in RinkAtlas:

On Sunday, February 11, 2018, Boyd Huppert reported for KARE 11 Television from Madison Lake, Minnesota about this unique hockey rink.  The 5-minute video that presents this story is a must-watch. It’s the kind of news piece that gives you hope for the future of traditional television broadcasting.  It tells a story of a place that most people have never heard of, but would want to know exists even if they don’t eat, drink, and sleep the sport of hockey like we do.

Upon further reflection, we realized that a local news report, no matter how heartwarming, probably wouldn’t go viral without a little help in a lot of different places.  If there’s any purpose to having a blog on RinkAtlas, it should be to tell stories of people who can legitimately be called the builders of hockey’s future.  The Schulz Family are some of those people.

RinkAtlas Helps You Find Any Arena in North America, Not Just the Ones that are Easy to Find

Here’s the latest arena to be added to RinkAtlas. It’s a place called Shinapest Tooma Memorial Arena in Kawawachikamach, Québec.

This is an arena that you cannot reach by car from the populated parts of North America. You either have to take a train from Sept Îlles or you have to fly in to the nearby town of Schefferville.

A number of people have asked, “Why are you focusing on indoor hockey arenas in the Canadian sub-arctic?”

It’s not that I’m focusing on them. It’s that the goal of RinkAtlas is to include every arena in North America where hockey is played. And when I say that, I mean all of them. Not just the arenas that everybody knows about.

Besides that, two men I know through hockey and through my research, Joé Juneau and Nicolas Chalifoux, have worked in or on this arena and they take pride in it. I try to celebrate that as well.

Vernon Civic Arena Holding Final Vernon Vipers Game on January 6

Global News reports that Vernon Civic Arena in Vernon, British Columbia will hold an 80th anniversary celebration on Saturday, January 6, with a final scheduled BCHL (junior hockey) game between the Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings.  The Vernon Civic Arena is considered the first indoor ice arena in the Okanagan.

The game is sold out, but tickets may be available at the gate “if some season ticket holders {who received tickets as part of their ticket distribution} don’t show up.”

Kal Tire Place, a nearby 3,003 seat arena, which is the current home of the Vernon Vipers is adding a second ice surface.  When this new surface is completed later in 2018, it will allow the City of Vernon to close Vernon Civic Arena and continue to offer the same amount of ice time to community hockey and skating programs.

Vernon Civic Arena Time Line

  • Later in 2018: Second ice surface at Kal Tire Place to be completed.  Vernon Civic Arena officially closed.
  • January 6, 2018: Scheduled game between Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings.  This is expected to be the last BCHL game at Vernon Civic Arena.  The game is sold out, but Global News says standby tickets may be available.
  • April 24, 2017: Ground broken on second ice surface at Kal Tire Place.
  • November 28, 2015: Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) residents vote to replace Vernon Civic Arena with a second ice surface at nearby Kal Tire Place.  This referendum authorized borrowing of C$ 13.25 million ($10.6 million) to pay for the expansion of Kal Tire Place.
  • June 18, 2014: The Corporation of the City of Vernon and MQN Architects publish a Civic Arena Replacement Feasibility Study.  The study recommended adding a second ice surface to Kal Tire Place situated north of the main building, to be built in part of the current parking area.
  • April 3, 2014: Structural deficiencies were identified in the Vernon Civic Arena.  Vernon Recreation Services said that replacing the current ice surface in the event of a catastrophic failure would cost C$ 5.6 million ($4.5 million).  The other options that were explored were twinning (building a second indoor ice surface) at Priest Valley Arena or Kal Tire Place.
  • January 6, 1938: Vernon Civic Arena opened.  This was the first indoor ice arena in the Okanagan area of British Columbia.