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Official Review by Richard Smith, Stadium Journey Regional Correspondent
Towson University is the second-largest public university in the State of Maryland. Located just north of Baltimore, it is home to approximately 21,000 college students, of which 18,000 are undergraduates. The university began as the Maryland State Normal School in 1866 and is starting to celebrate its 150th anniversary. The university has 64 undergraduate majors, 37 master's degree programs and 4 doctoral programs.
Tigers has been the sports teams name at Towson since 1961 replacing The Golden Knights, Indians and the Teachers names that were used by various sports. There are four tiger statues around campus.
The Tigers men's play in the American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) in the highest division; Men's Division 1. The Tigers also compete in the Eastern Collegiate Hockey Association (ECHA) for league play against, Drexel, Lehigh, Navy, Penn State Berks, Temple, and Villanova. Current head coach, Ed Slusher, is also the Hockey Director at Ice World.
Ice World is a twin rink complex located in Harford County, Maryland, about 20 minutes northeast of the Baltimore area. Numerous youth and adult hockey leagues and teams play at the complex, which also offers many open ice skating times. Olympian and world champion ice skater Kimmie Meissner, a local resident, can also be seen training at the facility off and on.
The Towson Tigers also help out at many practices for the youth program, the Harford North Stars, whom also play out of Ice World.
The FANFARE scale is our metric device for rating each stadium experience. It covers the following:
Each area is rated from 0 to 5 stars with 5 being the best. The overall composite score is the "FANFARE Score".
Ice World has a snack bar that serves both rinks. The food is basic snack bar variety, but the pricing is fair and the overall variety is pretty fair. You may want to eat a larger meal before or after attending a game here, but the snack bar will provide basic nourishment.
For an arena with such a small seating capacity, Ice World still provides for a decent environment for atmosphere for the Towson team. There is an announcer and good use of music during games. It is not a pro or NCAA Division I atmosphere, but it is pretty good.
There are just two small rows of seats, and many people will stand and watch directly at the glass along the corners of the rink.
Towson usually plays only on Rink A.
Ice World is located in an industrial park off of Maryland Route 7 (Philadelphia Road). There is not much around the area except for the facility. If you want options before or after games, it is best to head either to the Route 24/Interstate 95 interchange or further north on Route 24 towards the larger Abingdon area.
The Boulevard at Box Hill is a shopping center with quite a few food options. I would recommend the Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar restaurant chain. Wegman's Grocery Store is also located here and offers another option for stocking up for the game.
Fans who attend club level hockey tend to be friends or family of the game participants. Towson has an advantage over Loyola University Maryland, who also plays at the facility, in that they have a larger alumni in the area.
There will be virtually no students in attendance unless they are those friends or family. Ice World is too far from campus for students to attend games.
The fans are very knowledgeable about the games and take things very serious.
Ice World is located not far off of Interstate 95 at the Route 24 exit. Go south from the interchange, make a left (east) on to Route 7 (Philadelphia Road) and then a right onto either Continental Drive or Governor Court. The facility is at the rear of the business park.
There is plenty of free parking, although depending on the event occurring on the other ice rink the lot may get more busy.
Harford County is located about 20 minutes northeast of the Baltimore area.
Tickets are $5 to Towson games. That price seems very reasonable in that the club sports do not get much money to keep their program operating. Students will only have to pay $1 to attend the games. There is no cost for parking.
Towson plays on one of the higher levels of club sports hockey so the return on investment is fair.
Check out the many banners for youth, adult and college teams that also call Ice World home. There is also many a picture and plaque detailing the successes of the ice skating participants who also call the facility home. You may also want to check on events that are occurring on the other rink. Maybe you will catch world champion Kimmie Meissner practicing.
There is a good pro shop in the entrance area for Ice World.
The Towson Tigers hockey team does a good job of providing a good game environment for their fans, even if they do play quite a bit far off of campus.
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