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  • Lloyd Brown

Centene Community Ice Center - Lindenwood Lions


Photos by Lloyd Brown, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Centene Community Ice Center 750 Casino Center Drive

Maryland Heights, MO 63043

Lindenwood Lions website Centene Community Ice Center website

Year Opened: 2019 Capacity: 2,500

 

Lindenwood's Mane Attraction

The Centene Community Ice Center opened in 2019 at the cost of $83 million. It was developed through a partnership between the City of Maryland Heights, St. Louis County, and the St. Louis Blues. The Center features a wide variety of programs from skating lessons to leagues from youth ice hockey to adult level leagues. It also serves as the home ice for special populations hockey, including sled hockey, special needs hockey and Blues Blind Hockey. The City of Maryland Heights Parks and Recreation Department manages the facility. The facility has four NHL sized ice sheets, including a covered outdoor rink.


One of the rinks is set aside for use by the St. Louis Blues practices, Lindenwood University Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey games, as well as the Blues AAA team and the St. Louis Lady Cyclones hockey program.


Lindenwood University has had a men’s ice hockey team since 2003. The team played at the ACHA level until the 2022-2023 season, when it moved up to NCAA Division I status, where it plays as an independent. The Lions were a juggernaut in the years they played in the ACHA, as they won four national championships (2009, 2010, 2016, 2022). Their last national championship game at the ACHA level was held on their home ice at the Centene Community Ice Center in 2022. In accordance with NCAA rules, Lindenwood’s men’s team will not be eligible to play in any postseason NCAA games until the 2026-2027 season.


Food & Beverage 3

The Centene Community Ice Center offers food and beverage service at three levels. These are the 314 Social Bar and Grill for sit down service, the Schnucks Grab and Go Store for convenience store type of purchases such as snacks, drinks, and light sandwiches and the individual concession stands, which sell your typical stadium fare. Each concession level features Pepsi brand sodas and Budweiser brand beers (you are in St. Louis, after all !).


The 314 Social Bar and Grill offers a much wider menu than the other two options. We found this option had the highest prices of the three options and offered very slow service. The menu includes nachos ($14), quesadillas ($12), salads ($14), chicken wings ($14/lb.), chicken tenders ($13), cheesesteaks ($16), burgers ($14) and pizza ($13). Drinks are Pepsi brand sodas ($4), Pure Leaf tea ($4), coffee ($4), and bottled water ($4). Budweiser brand beers are $7 for a draft beer and $5 for canned beers. Wines ranged from $7 - $13 and mixed drinks are $6 - $16.


The Schnucks Grab and Go option offered food and beverage offerings at the same prices you would find at one of their convenience stores. It also was the fastest option of the three at the Centene Community Ice Center.

There is one larger concession stand located in the lobby of the Ice Center, with smaller stands on the concourses inside the seating bowl. It offers your usual stadium fare, at higher-than-average prices. The main stand was overwhelmed during the between periods break. We suggest using the inside the seating bowl stands during breaks in the action. However, they do offer fewer concession items than the main stand due to limited space on the concourse.


Atmosphere 4

The Lions hockey home is the 2,500-seat competition rink at the Centene Community Ice Center. The seats at the rink feature tip up chairback seating, as well as high table seating at one end of the ice. All seats are below the concourse and are within 25 rows of the ice, so there literally is no bad seat in the house. The rink also features a four-sided, center-hung scoreboard /videoboard at center ice, with smaller auxiliary boards at the ends of the ice. The Lions hockey home is the 2,500-seat competition rink at the Centene Community Ice Center.


Neighborhood 4

The immediate area surrounding the Centene Community Ice Center consists of office parks and businesses that are related towards the nearby Missouri River. The closest hotel to the Ice Center is the Homewood Suites by Hilton St. Louis Riverport-Airport. The only activity close by is the Hollywood Casino and Hotel St. Louis, which is located down the street from the Ice Center.


However, just across the river and one exit further west on I-70 is St. Charles, MO. It offers a wide variety of cultural sites, restaurants and historical sites for visitors. There are a number of sites devoted to Lewis and Clark, as the city was the departure point for their expedition to the western United States. The city also features many unique shopping experiences in the historic district. St. Charles is also the home of the Lindenwood University campus. It is well worth a visit, as it is a beautiful campus with some stunning architecture.


Fans 5

The Lindenwood men’s hockey team has an extraordinarily strong and diversified fanbase. There are several factors in place to explain this. First of all Lindenwood has a strong record of success in collegiate hockey. The men’s program was a powerhouse at the ACHA level, bringing home several national championships. The women’s hockey team has been in Division I of the NCAA for several years, and has been very successful in postseason play. This explains the staunch support from the alumni, as well as the present student body at the school. The student body section at Lions games is known as the Uproar, and it typically fills two sections of the stands at each game. Even though the Centene Community Ice Center is an off campus venue, it is only six miles and one interstate exit east of the campus. This makes it easy for students to get to.


Another strength of support for the Lindenwood hockey program is that the St. Louis region is a hotbed for hockey at all age levels…. and the Centene Community Ice Center reaches all those markets. This includes the NHL Blues using the Ice Center as their practice facility, as well as minor league teams from both sexes, down to the high school, youth and kids leagues that call the center home.


Access 4

Centene Community Ice Center is easy to reach from anywhere in the St. Louis region. It is 30 minutes from downtown St. Louis, and 10 minutes from St. Louis’ Lambert Airport. Take I-70, I-270, or Highway 364 West to Casino Center Drive.


Follow the Ice Center employees’ directions to the appropriate parking lot.


The arena entrance is through the main center entrance to the Centene Community Ice Center. This brings you into the main entrance lobby. The lobby is very large and includes access to the 314 Social Bar and Restaurant, the concession stands and the Schnucks Grab and Go store. Additional concession stands are available at the concourse level inside the arena.


Return on Investment 4

For the most part, the Centene Community Ice Center is a very affordable place to enjoy a college hockey game. Seating is open and first come, first serve for Lindenwood Lions hockey games, except for a portion reserved for season ticket holders.


Tickets are priced by categories rather than seat location. These categories are General Public ($15), Senior Citizens 55 years or older ($15), Alumni ($10), Group ($5) and children aged 12 and under ($5). These are advanced purchase ticket prices. Tickets purchased the day of the game are $3 more at each ticket level.

Parking at the Ice Center is $10.


We found the concession prices to be much higher than normal at the concession stands and the 314 Local Bar and Restaurant.

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Extras 5

Centene Community Ice Center has been named as one of the Top Ten Hockey Venues in the Country by the Sports Planning Guide.


Centene Community Ice Center also serves as the home ice for the Saint Louis Blues AAA program, the St. Louis Lady Cyclones.


The Centene Community Ice Center also has ties to the NHL. It serves as the St. Louis Blues practice facility and hosted the NHL Alumni All Star Game in 2020.


The Ice Center will serve as an NCAA Regionals location in 2026 as St. Louis will host the Frozen Four Ice Hockey Tournament.


The Centene Community Ice Center is adjacent to the St. Louis Music Park. This is a 4,500 seat outdoor music venue with an amphitheater setting.


Final Thoughts

The Lindenwood University men’s hockey program has finally made the leap into NCAA Division I competition. Their home ice at the Centene Community Ice Center will immediately become one the top collegiate hockey venues in the Midwest. It provides an excellent playing surface, training facilities, a dedicated locker room for visiting teams, as well as lodging options just around the corner from the rink. However, visitors should be careful when they enter this Lions den!



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