Ohio State examining potential plans for new hockey arena

Map of north campus athletics district | Credit: Courtesy of OSU Board of TrusteesOhio State hockey could be in line for a home of its own in the near future.The OSU athletic department is considering adding a hockey arena to the north campus athletic district that would become the home of both men’s and women’s ice hockey. It would feature two sheets of ice: one for games and one for practices. There is currently no estimate for when the project will be completed. The current project spot for the new arena is just north of the soon-to-be-built Covelli Multi-Sport Arena, according to a map shared by the OSU Board of Trustees in their January meeting. It is part of an ongoing effort to build multiple athletic complexes in the place of Buckeye Village.Shaun Richard, associate athletic director and administrator for hockey at OSU, said the progress so far has been requesting a bid to architects in the hope of receiving detailed proposals, including cost estimates. “(The architects will) look at various things throughout the process in terms of what our program might look like in terms of locker room sizes, what we’d be needing in this building, the cost of a two-sheeted facility and just some obstacles that we may have to look at as we go through the process,” Richard said.The proposal is still in the early stages of planning, but the plans for the arena currently have the seating capacity set to 4,000.“That is what we have put in the RFQ (request for quotation) is 4,000, but we’re not married to that number right now, it’s more of just a starting point,” Richard said. “Looking at a smaller sheet, looking at a smaller arena is the direction we want to go to start.”Since the 1998-99 season, the OSU men’s hockey team has played in Value City Arena at the Schottenstein Center, with a seating capacity of 17,500. The women’s hockey team has been playing in the much smaller OSU Ice Rink with a seating capacity of 1,415, since its inaugural season in 1999-2000.Last season, the men’s team averaged 5,335 people per game, filling up 30.5 percent of Value City Arena. The women’s team averaged 430 fans per game, 35.8 percent of the OSU Ice Rink’s available seating.There is no immediate timetable for when the project will be completed, but Richard said the department should receive bids on the project within the next month and have a study back before the end of the year.