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  • Marc Viquez

Goggin Ice Center - Miami Redhawks


Photos by Marc Viquez, Stadium Journey


Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

Goggin Ice Center 610 S Oak St. Oxford, OH 45056

Miami Redhawks men’s hockey website Goggin Ice Center website

Year Opened: 2006 Capacity: 3,642

 

Hockey is Good at the Goggin Ice Center

Tucked away on a small campus in Southeastern Ohio is Miami University which is home to a picturesque campus with red brick streets and fans with a passion for hockey. The epicenter of this passion is the Goggin Ice Center, named after former university vice-president, Lloyd Goggin. The facility consists of two NHL-sized sheets of ice and debuted in 2006 at $34 million. The RedHawks play at the “A Pad”, also known as the Steve “Coach” Cady Arena.

The “B Pad” is used for recreational skating. The building also hosts intramural hockey and broomball programs, Jr. RedHawks youth and Talawanda High School varsity hockey clubs, hockey camps, skating lessons, ice shows, and other events.

The facility includes 2,800 reserved lower bowl seats, 102 club seats, 4 opera boxes, and 6 private suites. The capacity of the building swells to 3,700 with standing room only included. It was one of the most labor-intensive projects in the university’s history and was completed in 104 weeks.

The Redhawks properly dedicated the arena with a 5-2 victory over Denver University. The arena was named after former head coach Steve Cady who coached the club for its first seven seasons from its start in 1978 to 1985.

The building itself is decorated with former players who have moved on to the National Hockey League, championship banners, and historical photos from the previous 40 seasons. The Hawks have made twelve NCAA tournaments and two Frozen Four appearances in 2009 and 2010.

Food & Beverage 3

The Cady Arena offers a rather basic assortment of concession items at four main locations on the concourse. Fans can choose from hot dogs, nachos, popcorn, and barbecue pork sandwiches. Pepsi products are available and if you have a sweet tooth, cookies, and an assortment of sweets are available at an additional stand. There are no alcoholic beverages allowed except in the upstairs lounge area.

Atmosphere 5

The architects of the Cady Arena designed the facility that would feature everything its hockey program would ever need. The brick interior gives the building a sense of nostalgia and provides beautiful a beautiful backdrop to its hangar roof. Once you take your seat and the opening faceoff has been completed you are immersed in an energetic atmosphere that becomes quite intoxicating as each period progresses.

The ambiance is as electric and frenzied as some of the best college venues in the country. The compact-sized arena offers many elements: a passionate student section, boisterous alumni, and a school band that generates its special brand of home-ice advantage.

The hockey program is considered by many to be the number one sports team on campus. The students take up residency on a first-come/first-served basis at the north end of the arena. They do everything your typical student section would do at a college sporting event of its size and they do it quite well. The rest of the audience fills in the noise with chants after each goal, hard hit, penalty call, or break in the action.

The soundtrack to all of this is the marching band that resides right next to the student section in the western section of the building. The arena offers seating at all ends of the rink with a wraparound concourse that offers concessions, bathrooms, and access to other parts of the facility. The interior walls feature retired numbers of former players and championship banners hanging from the rafters on each side of the ice.

There are two video boards on both the north and south end of the building. The main lobby is an attraction all of its honoring former players who have won the Stanley Cup in the National Hockey League with giant-size photos along with NHL jerseys of former Redhawk players decorating the walls.

The lobby also houses a box office, a skate shop, and a team store that gets quite busy before and after games. There is also access to the second rink that was being used for curling during our visit. If you’re lucky, you might be able to see the school’s official mascot “Swoop” greeting fans.

Neighborhood 4

Oxford, Ohio, has a population of 21,731 and the university has slightly more with an enrollment of 24,505. The small town is quite attractive and provides a pretty nice college atmosphere for its students while keeping visitors entertained during a visit to a hockey game. The campus itself has been described as “one of the prettiest campuses that ever was” by poet Robert Frost and its buildings are in the style characteristic of Georgian Revival architecture, with all buildings no more than three stories tall.

The main college drag is High Street, a few blocks away from the campus and arena, where you find a bevy of commerce at its bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. The action starts early on the weekends with local watering holds packed with students. CJ’s, Varsity, Brick Street, and Steinkeller are a few of the hot spots if you choose to mingle with the young crowd.

The area offers a few upscale restaurants: Alexander House, High Street Grill, and Paesanos, and local favorites: Mac & Joe’s, Rapid Fire Pizza, Spring Hill Tavern, and Hitching Post Saloon. Skippers and Bagel & Deli Shop are next to one another and offer patio seating, half-yard pints of beer, and awesome sandwiches. It is a great way to fraternize with the local population on a warm fall afternoon.

Fans 5

The fans at the Cady Arena are loyal, zealous, and fervent. They are focused on the game the minute the first puck is dropped and when the Hawks score the first goal, they point their finger in the air and sing a little ditty to the opposing goalkeeper. The crowd, both students and regular fans donning university colors or jerseys, also have chants for when there are penalties that can be slightly PG-13. If you are not familiar with some of the chants, ask a fan next to you, they are more than happy to explain what it means and how you can learn the lingo.

Access 4

Cady Arena is a small facility with one main concourse for single-ticket purchasers; it is very easy to move around the building from one end to the other, but be careful not to accidentally walk out the main doorways. Even with near-capacity crowds, the flow of traffic moves rather smoothly inside the arena: bathrooms, exits, and concession areas are easily accessible.

Return on Investment 4

The average price for a ticket is $25 for most home games, but they do sell fast and when college powerhouses North Dakota and Minnesota-Duluth come to town, the price may increase or the tickets sell out. Parking is $5 in the parking garage or open lots, but there is available street parking if arriving early. The best seats might be towards the top of the seating bowl or on the west side of the rink, opposite the player benches. Most games are near capacity and the crowd is a dedicated brass that does its best to make you a fan. All of this makes the price admission well worth the investment.

Extras 4

The fans provide an extra point for the experience at the Cady Arena; the supporters are passionate, loud, and love their hockey in a part of the country not known for hockey. The lobby is nicely decorated with memorable events from the team’s history, but most of the focus is on the former players who have made a name in the NHL. Their jerseys are displayed on the walls along with special attention to players who have hoisted the Stanley Cup.

The campus itself has been described as “one of the prettiest campuses that ever was” by poet Robert Frost and its buildings are in the style characteristic of Georgian Revival architecture, with all buildings no more than three stories tall. If the weather is right, it could provide for a nice stroll before the game. The merchandise stand offers a special of the game, for example, a flex fit cap for $10. A great way to spend a little bit on university swag.


Final Thoughts

The Goggin Ice Center is the perfect venue for the Redhawks hockey team and provides an ideal canvas for its fans, students, and alumni to cheer on the club during the season. The program can hold its own against the best of them in the college hockey world and the Hawks fans won’t let you forget that when in attendance. If you happen to find yourself in Cincinnati or Dayton, take a short trip to the campus of Miami University.

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Follow all of Marc’s stadium journeys on Twitter @ballparkhunter and his YouTube channel.


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