Maysa Arena attracking national attention

Garrick Hodge/MDN The Pepsi Center at Maysa Arena opened to the public for the first time on Nov. 10, 2016, when the Minot Minotauros hosted Bismarck.

Maysa Arena is a facility everyone in the community can be proud of.

And for good reason.

Earlier this month, Maysa Arena was selected as a top 10 finalist for Kraft Hockeyville USA, which is a contest to determine the country’s most passionate hockey community.

Kraft Heinz, in partnership with the National Hockey League and the National Hockey League Players Association, received nearly 1,300 nominations before the list was trimmed to the top 10.

Maysa Arena was also a finalist in the contest in 2016. Maysa Arena was runner-up from the West Region.

The winner of the contest, which will be announced at the end of April, will receive $150,000 in arena upgrades. The Minot arena, which just completed the addition of a third rink (the Pepsi Rink) in November, received $25,000 in arena upgrades last year.

And despite the renovation project being complete, Maysa Arena General Manager Bob Gillen says the grand prize could definitely be put to good use.

“There are always little things,” he said.

Gillen points to three areas that money would go toward.

He says electrical work needs to be done if the arena wants to host concerts in the future.

He also says there needs to be lights left on inside the Pepsi Rink in the event of an emergency.

On the west rink, which has a sand floor, Gillen says there are doors and windows from the old barn arena at the fairgrounds that need to be replaced.

Gillen said for Maysa Arena to be nominated in a national contest two consecutive years speaks volumes about the interest in the sport from the community.

“The passion of the people and the number of groups that use it are represented,” he said. “We got a team at pretty much every level. People have gotten behind this facility and their games.”

Maysa Arena opened in October 2000 at a cost of $3.9 million.

Maysa is an acronym for Minot Area Youth Skating Association.

The recent addition of the Pepsi Rink cost $10.9 million and took roughly 14 months to complete.

The Pepsi Rink seats 1,800 with an additional 250 barstool seats that extend around the rink.

Maysa Arena is the third largest arena in the state. It’s only smaller than Ralph Englestad Arena in Grand Forks and Scheels Arena in Fargo.

The arena expansion will also allow Minot the opportunity to host larger youth, high school and college tournaments.

The Minot State men’s hockey program has put in a bid to host the American Collegiate Hockey Association Division I national tournament in 2019.

That announcement is also expected to come at the end of April.

“We’d like to do everything we can to help (Minot State) get it,” Gillen said.