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Michigan State University

In with the new, as a nod to the old

munn ice arena

In with the new, as a nod to the old

Munn Ice Arena is getting old, but honestly, that’s kind of a compliment.

Completed in 1974, the low-lying, metal-sided building is without a doubt the only athletic facility in the U.S.—and possibly the entire world—that is tucked into the side of a documented 16,000-year-old prehistoric inland sand dune. If that isn’t special enough, there’s a grove of pine trees growing atop the sand dune, making Munn one of the few places on campus where you can sing the lyrics to MSU Shadows, “beneath the pines we’ll gather,” and actually mean it.

But there’s also something to be said for having the latest, greatest, shiniest athletic facilities. When Munn Ice Arena’s long-awaited renovation is complete, it will be the best of both worlds.

The 35,000-square-foot addition will bring offices, conference rooms and administrative spaces out of the dark underbelly of the arena and into natural light on the main level.

A weight room and training room will mean that student-athletes won’t have to trek down Red Cedar Road to the football building for conditioning. There will be a theater room for watching film, a space for studying, a place to practice shooting and brand-new locker rooms that will stand out to new recruits who are likely trying to choose between some of the best hockey programs in the country.

And for the fans: a beautiful and well-marked “front door” at the building’s south entrance and an MSU hockey hall of fame to welcome them inside.

The Munn renovation project is being funded solely through philanthropy, and while construction has largely been paused due to the COVID-19 pandemic, fundraising continues. We are looking forward—when we can gather again and it’s night two of a home-and-home against UofM, and MSU is winning and the students are going insane in the northeast corner and That One Guy is yelling at the refs, and That Other Guy is dancing to the Spartan Brass during intermission, and the whole place feels like the roof might pop off when the clock finally runs out and we’ve swept the series? It will be better than ever.

Author: Devon Barrett, '11

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