By Ella Vincent.
Plymouth Ice Center, affectionately known as PIC, is our town’s epicenter for all things hockey. While the puck is just dropping on a new season, let’s look back on how it all began.
Originally built in 1997, the Plymouth Ice Center was a groundbreaking collaboration between the City of Plymouth, Wayzata School District, Providence Academy, and Life Time Fitness as well as other hockey associations and the State of Minnesota. It is owned by the City of Plymouth but is connected to an independently operated Life Time Fitness center. Since then, many cities have emulated the concept of combining recreational amenities, and more than 300,000 people per year walk through the doors at PIC.
Building on that enthusiasm, another rink was added in 2004. Providence Academy, a private school located in Plymouth, helped to fund the expansion and provide a home for its hockey program.
In 2017, PIC underwent a multi-million dollar redesign which incorporated environmentally friendly ideas to increase energy efficiency. The redesign also included converting its main rink from an Olympic to an NHL size rink, fresh paint, new scoreboards, and an open café area. Now, hockey supporters can sip on a cup of coffee in the café area, while they watch the action through several spectator windows. These upgrades helped to bring the USA Sled Hockey Classic to PIC in 2017 and USA Hockey National High School Tournament in 2018.
Beyond those stories of national glory, the Plymouth Ice Center has literally seen players through from their first skate to adult leagues. It is home to the City of Plymouth’s learn to skate program for young beginners and to more than forty teams of school-aged players in Wayzata Youth Hockey Association. PIC also houses high school hockey games for both Wayzata High School and Providence Academy. In addition, PIC is home to local and national hockey camps, tournaments, and special events as well as sled hockey and adult hockey games.
Whether you’re lacing up your skates, or settling in to watch your player take the ice, you’ll find that Plymouth Ice Center is the area’s best place for a good old hockey game!