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:
We added Schulz Rink Of Dreams in Madison Lake, MN to RinkAtlas, https://t.co/Tq00OvL8cM!
— RinkAtlas (@RinkAtlas) February 13, 2018
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.