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>One Week

28 November 2010

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Bulldogs fans, can you believe that in one week we’ll have witnessed our final game at the DECC?

I can’t. I really can’t. It’s hard to believe the new arena was a dream just a few years ago, one we thought the taxpayers of Duluth would never support. And then it was just a drawing, an artist’s rendering that made us start to salivate. We saw it grow over time from a pile of rubble to a skeleton to a full structure, and then some of us were lucky enough to go inside and see it. Our captains have skated on it and I would imagine the rest of the teams have had or will have a chance to skate on it very soon. And on December 30th, we’ll have our chance to see it for the first time with the ice in, the video board working, and the seats filled with excited fans.

But the DECC, the current arena is our friend. It has been with us for a lot. Sure, the ceiling is falling apart over section 25, and it gets hot in there very easily, and the concourse is crowded, and the only graphic they have is that old man getting hooked and leaving his eyeballs behind, and the sound system doesn’t work sometimes, and the press box is a dump, and it’s weirdly-sized, and people have to sit on folding chairs sometimes, and there are no suites, and the students are in a weird spot, and the doors don’t shut all the way.

That’s all part of its charm. I am really going to miss the DECC. I am going to miss going downstairs and wandering around, running into the other team every once in awhile. I’m going to miss being able to sit right next to the penalty box if I want to. I’m going to miss my little corner where my seats are tucked, so I can stand up there and pace if the weird half-row behind me isn’t sold. I’m going to miss the goal lap, and that one step that took out Yager last year. I’m going to miss Walt, who retired last home series. I’m going to miss Dick Stewart sitting right above the band, although I know he’ll be waving his windsock wherever he sits. I’m going to miss those funky balcony seats, where I always wanted to sit. I’m going to miss the atmosphere, because it’s going to take awhile for the new arena to find it again. I’m going to miss sitting in a rink where Brett Hull, Junior Lessard, Bill Watson, Bill Oleksuk, Bob Mason, Glenn Resch, Tom Kurvers, Norm Maciver, Bah Harrington, Alex Stalock, Huffer Christiansen, Chris Marinucci, Shjon Podein, Matt Niskanen, Mason Raymond, Curt Giles and hundreds of other Bulldogs played hockey, not to mention all the Northland-born hockey players who had high school games or section play-offs there. I’m going to miss the rink where my mom and my dad, my uncles and aunt, my grandparents and my great-grandmother went to games.

This week isn’t about AMSoil Arena. There will be years and years to talk about it. This week is about the DECC, a place we’ll miss even though it’s right next door.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. 28 November 2010 7:50 am

    >Excellent post. For those of us who have spent our entire life watching UMD games at the DECC it is going to be a very bittersweet week.

  2. 29 November 2010 3:13 am

    >Gonna miss the place myself, probably my favorite place to watch a hockey game. The first few years I went up there we always sat in Section R and S with a huge and loud group of Gopher fans and had a lot of great memories there, just with the fans and the games. Some pretty great series over the years between the two teams as well. Not looking forward to games at Amsoil because I'll miss the old feel of the DECC but at the same time am glad that UMD is getting a new facility. Wish I could be at the final game at the DECC but will be at the first game at the Amsoil, should be a fun time.

  3. 29 November 2010 7:58 am

    >I will miss the high cancer rates of bulldog fans from the ceiling asbestos

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