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OSU Women's Hockey Needs A New Home

Ladies First? Not So Much.

Immediately following the construction of Value City Arena at the Jerome Schottenstein Center in 1998, the Ohio State Men’s Hockey team made a beeline straight from the crumbling, inadequate OSU Ice Rink to its new digs down the street.

One year later, the Buckeye’s Women’s program played its inaugural season in the OSU Ice Rink; yet more than 10 years after that, the women still call the 51-year-old rink their home barn.

As the OSU athletic board plans to demolish an iconic and well-functioning St. John Arena, it seems to have once again turned its back on the rink and thus disregarded the needs of the Buckeye’s Women’s squad.

For years, those close to the Buckeye hockey have called for the construction of a hockey-specific arena, though their pleas have gone unanswered. Renovations have been made to the OSU Ice Rink though some of the same complaints it received more than a decade ago could still be made today.

Listed below are excerpts from articles written many years ago highlighting some of the rink’s shortcomings when it served as the Men’s team’s home ice.

Michael Norman, Columbus Monthly, February 1985

“No matter how hard it tries, no matter how many games it wins or how often it is ranked in the national polls, it never seems to get any respect. Rodney Dangerfields on skates. That’s what the (OSU) players and coaches are – every last one of them.”

National intercollegiate powerhouses like Minnesota-Duluth, Boston College, and Boston University refuse to play in the OSU Ice Rink because it looks like an old warehouse, doesn’t use any heat, and seats (if you can call it that) only 1,700 people.”

Dave Smith, The Lantern, July 8, 1992

“Home and visiting dressing rooms are downstairs, and the visiting teams often have to dress in the hallway, because their dressing room is too small to fit everyone at the same time.”

Charles Calvin Jefferson, The Lantern, 1994

“The bleachers in the Ohio State Ice Rink are rotted and worn, its ceiling is falling apart and there is no insulation in its walls, making for butt-chaffing, bone-chilling winter nights for the rink’s spectators and skaters.”

“At least the birds that live in the rafters of the 33-year-old building don’t seem to mind”

Aaron Buckles, The Lantern, March 13, 1992

“The building stands as a blight on the face of the university and is the laughingstock of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association”

Over the years, the “butt-chaffing” wooden bleachers have been replaced and adequate insulation has been installed, but some features of the rink are too concrete to be replaced. For example, the size of the OSU Ice Rink locker rooms have forced the Buckeye women to dress in St. John Arena and visiting teams to cram into a tiny locker room and skinny hallway in the downstairs of the rink.

Roughly 13 years ago, the OSU was the “laughingstock of the CCHA” and now, in its 13th season as the home of Buckeye Women’s hockey, it is the butt of all jokes in the Women’s Western Collegiate Hockey Association.

But the OSU Women’s team isn’t laughing, and despite having posted a 14-5-1 record through the first part of the season, its situation, unfortunately, doesn’t appear to be changing anytime soon.