MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – As part of the Winter Classic, the NHL and the Minnesota Wild’s Legacy Project are setting up a dry field training facility on the upper level of the Northeast Ice Arena.
“There will be a lot of kids from all walks of life in the Northeast Arena who will benefit the most,” said Wayne Peterson, Wild’s director of community relations and hockey partnerships.
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“We picked Northeast Ice Arena because they didn’t have the facilities like Edina, Stillwater, Woodbury, Eden Prairie like they did,” said Peterson. “It will level the playing field a bit.”
The facility will serve many groups of young hockey players, including the Minneapolis high school teams and the free clinics of the Herb Brooks Foundation, an organization that has been instrumental in this project.
“There was a time when Minneapolis and St. Paul hockey ruled this state. So the idea is to make the game grow. Yes, in an urban environment, but it is also a peri-urban and rural problem now. It is an expensive sport. There are barriers to entry, ”said Herb Brooks Foundation executive director Jon Cherney.
Adjacent to the training area there will also be a mentoring room.
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“A lot of law enforcement in Minneapolis and Hennepin County, as well as the Herb Brooks Foundation will use this space to supervise children,” said Peterson.
The project is expected to end this spring.
“It’s going to be a real collaboration to help develop play for kids, which is really what Herb has always wanted to do,” Cherney said.
The training center is designed by The Wild’s strength and conditioning trainer Sean Skahan. It will be using the same company that designed the same room at TRIA Rink, where the Wilds practice.
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