If your arena regularly hosts an NHL prospect tournament or training camp, it needs to be up to NHL standards — standards which are continually evolving. That’s the case for the Centre Ice Arena in Traverse City, MI which has been the training camp for the Detroit Red Wings for the past 20 years. In order to make its rink NHL compliant, Centre Ice Arena is fundraising to keep the Red Wings coming back to the arena.

Here’s an excerpt from Centre Ice Arena’s fundraising page:

Recently implemented NHL safety standards mandate that every ice rink hosting events involving NHL players perform extensive and expensive rink renovations. With a total renovation cost of $220,000, Centre Ice found the expense daunting. It appeared as though Red Wings Training Camp and NHL Prospect Tournament would no longer take place in Traverse City.

I reached out to Tricia Frey, the Centre Ice Arena’s marketing manager, to find out what kind of renovations they are required to make to get their arena ship-shape for the upcoming season. A quick review shows these modifications don’t just focus on player safety, but keeping the audience safe too. This is the shopping list she gave me:

  • NHL Approved Crystaplex 590 Plus Acrylic X 96″ high for Rink Ends
  • Rinkshield 545 Acrylic X 72″ high for Rink Sides
  • NHL Approved Black Softcap
  • NHL Approved 6′ Curved Acrylic Corners
  • NHL Approved Kevlar Black Protective Nets 120′ x 14′-6″ high

Centre Ice Arena is using Giving Grid to fundraise and, as of the publication of this post, they’ve raised over $20K of their $110,000 goal. In addition, they have received a generous donation from Traverse City Tourism which is charged with stimulating economic growth through the attraction of convention business and leisure tourism development. It certainly sees the benefit of having the Red Wings back in town, again and again and again.

Other arenas should also take note of the changing landscape, including the arenas trying to win money for arena upgrades and the chance to host an NHL pre-season game through one of two Kraft Hockeyville competitions in North America.

The NHL is serious about the safety of its players and fans, even in pre-season games.