"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

"The best way to predict your future is to create it." Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln High School Statesman

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The Midco Arena experience

Midco+Arena+is+Augustana+University%E2%80%99s+new+3%2C082-capacity+hockey-specific+arena+located+on+the+south+side+of+campus+on+the+corner+of+33rd+and+Grange+Avenue.%0A
Ryan Calhoun
Midco Arena is Augustana University’s new 3,082-capacity hockey-specific arena located on the south side of campus on the corner of 33rd and Grange Avenue.

Midco Arena hosted its first division 1 hockey game on Jan. 26, 2024 when Augustana’s men’s team welcomed the Ferris State Bulldogs from Big Rapids, Michigan and unfortunately fell in a 5-2 loss. The $40 million arena had been under construction since October of 2021, and students, fans and families alike were understandably anxious to finally benefit from its opening.
I had the opportunity to attend Augustana’s second home game in the new arena on Jan. 27 and in doing so I also got a first taste of collegiate ice hockey. While finding a place to park was rather difficult, the typically mundane process of heading inside to show tickets and find seats went surprisingly smoothly given the circumstances. The pregame routine left all 3,082 fans in the sold-out crowd buzzing with excitement, and while the attendance could not quite compete with the Sioux Falls Stampede’s average of over 6,000 fans in some recent seasons, the atmosphere certainly did.
With those in attendance undeniably ready, the game started. It was a cagey affair from beginning to end, each of the teams taking the opening minutes to grow into the game without taking too many risks. Halfway through the first period, however, Augustana found the breakthrough with a relatively unappealing goal in front of the student section. I was particularly impressed with the noise inside the stadium as the home team broke the deadlock and went ahead by one. The proximity of the fans to the players in ice hockey makes for an immersive experience, and the students amplified the good atmosphere, some of them never even taking a seat through the entire game.
Ferris State equalized with a goal of their own shortly after Augustana took the lead, but it did not do much to silence the rowdy home crowd. Soon after, we went into the first intermission period with the game still level at 1-1. My journey to the bathroom was unnecessarily lengthy and left me confused as to why all four restrooms are on one side of the arena. With that being said, that remains my only complaint about my experience at the new arena. The popcorn I purchased at intermission was exactly what you would expect from a vendor at a hockey game and the service was efficient.
The remainder of the match was full of excitement, with Augustana coming back from 2-1 down to tie the game 3-3 and send the teams to golden goal overtime, where Ferris State pulled out the 4-3 victory. The result may have left a sour taste in the mouths of the home fans, but the experience made up for it. Midco Arena is the perfect home for a young program like Augustana men’s hockey and will continue to deliver to fans for years to come.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Calhoun, Staff Writer
Ryan Calhoun is a senior and first-year staff writer for the Statesman. In his free time, Calhoun plays soccer with the LHS varsity team in the fall and bowls with the LHS varsity team in the winter. He also considers himself a professional pickleball star by day and a fast food connoisseur by night. When he is not busy with these important obligations, Calhoun can be found happily hanging out with friends or utterly dejected at Shoe Carnival, where he works.
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