Re: Lansing Metro Ice Arena
- I got this back from someone in Lansing:
The Metro Ice Arena officially opened in the fall of 1974 in a big orange building off Elmwood Drive near the Lansing Mall. Plugging themselves as the "Orange Ice People", they painted the ice surface orange for opening day. (Unofficially, there was ice available for some part of the 73-74 season). The management helped start the Metro Minor Hockey Association for players on the west side, was instrumental in beginning a high school hockey league (and briefly, a spring junior high league) in Lansing, and was home to Lansing's first Junior B team the Metros. Their agreement with the owner of the IHL's Toledo Goaldiggers [error: it was the Toledo Hornets] brought professional hockey, the Lansing Lancers, to town for the first time.
Construction delays and lack of funds prevented Metro from completing all the seating, offices, and locker rooms required by the Lancers team, which struggled to attract the fans needed to survive. Both the junior team and the Lancers failed to complete their 74-75 seasons, and the Metro Ice Arena closed in the spring.
After a season of inactivity, the bank that now owned the building brought in a management team to reopen the arena. After hanging on for the 76-77 and 77-78 seasons, Metro closed for good in the spring of 1978. The contents were sold off and the building now houses retail stores.
I believe that the building in question can be seen on this map view:
The building with the large slightly sloped roof, and a triangular addition on the left.
Is anyone on this list interested in doing research on hockey arenas?
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, James Milks <james.milks@...> wrote:
> I suspect you already found this, but an article in the nearby Argus-Press
> dated Jan. 14, 1975 which discusses the team's financial problems confirms
> the 900 seat figure. (
> Spokeo.com lists a Paul L. Bright and a Paul B. Bright living in the
> Lansing area, which was the name of the owner in 1975. You could call.
> You might also try the Historical Society of Greater Lansing;
> On Tue, Aug 7, 2012 at 1:12 AM, Ralph Slate <slater@...> wrote:
> > I'm doing a little research on hockey arenas, and I can't find much of
> > anything on the place the Lansing Lancers played. It is termed the
> > "Metro Ice Arena" in both the IHL guide of 1974-75 and also newspaper
> > articles of the times. It was apparently privately owned and had
> > bleacher capacity of 952 (though the IHL guide says capacity was 4,600 -
> > apparently very wishful thinking). The IHL guide says that it was
> > located at 901 E. Mall Drive, Lansing - when I look at that location on
> > Google Maps, there appears to be a shopping center there.
> > Does anyone know anything about this arena? Was it perhaps converted
> > into the shopping plaza, or demolished? The only info I could find was
> > from a Lansing minor hockey website which said:
> > > Lansing Ice Arena opened in the fall of 1972, followed by *Metro Ice
> > > Arena late in November 1973 *and MSU's Munn Arena for the 1974-75
> > > season. *Metro Ice Arena closed after their first full season* and the
> > > Metro Minor Hockey Association merged into GLAHA in June 1975.
> > > Lansing's Washington Park Ice Arena opened in 1976 with artificial
> > > ice, but no roof. *Metro reopened for parts of the 1976-77 and 77-78
> > > seasons, then closed again* and the players from the Junior Spartans
> > > travel hockey teams rejoined GLAHA.
> > Thanks,
> > Ralph
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