Look up, and you'll note the suites under construction for the hockey arena. And the building has clearly been extended on the south side.
Mike Carrels, president of the Aberdeen Hockey Association, said the new area is blocked off during the fair, so fair-goers shouldn't have to avoid any unfinished construction. He said work should be completed by the first Aberdeen Wings home game, which is at 7:15 p.m. Sept. 28 against Brookings.
The expansion is 170 by 30 feet. It will include a new locker room for the Wings junior hockey team, administrative offices, public bathrooms, a workout room, suites and extra space. The suites have capacity for nearly 200 fans.
Carrels said the hockey association is pleased and excited that the project, which is being paid for with private funding, is on schedule.
New bleachers were added to the Odde Ice Center two years ago, increasing capacity from roughly 1,500 to about 1,600. Now, that total will tick up a bit more. The suites will be above the players' benches across from the bleachers.w
The Wings averaged 1,229 fans a game last season, tops in the North American Hockey League's Central Division. They drew a record 1,604 fans to last year's season finale, a victory against Brookings.
Aberdeen youth hockey teams also use the Odde Ice Center, which is owned by the hockey association. The Wings are tenants.
This will be the Wings fourth season. Junior hockey is for amateur players between the ages of 16 and 20 who are seeking to advance in the junior hockey ranks or procure college scholarships.
Aberdeen opens its season on Sept. 18 against the Janesville Jets at the NAHL Showcase in Blaine, Minn. The Wings were 23-30-7 last season.