Outpost Ice Arena, home of the Albuquerque Ice Wolves junior hockey team, is getting a facelift.
The brand new junior hockey team has begun their season on the road with an unfortunate 0-6 starting record.
The highly anticipated team is using the local ice skating and hockey rink in the Northeast Heights of Albuquerque for practices and games. The rink is currently undergoing renovations, costing team owner and broadcast mogul Stan Hubbard a total of $2 million.
The renovations are seeking to upgrade the classic look of the original Outpost. However, according to Alyssa Loroach, the Ice Wolves’ director of communications and marketing, Hubbard is wanting to keep the integrity of the arena despite the new changes.
The renovations began with the Ice Wolves adding their logo to the front of the Outpost Ice Arena building.
Fans and frequent Outpost-goers can also expect a change in lighting, seating and window viewing in the lobby, along with brand-new flat screen TVs.
In the rink, workers have been busy replacing the original ice in the arena, adding the Ice Wolves logo to the floor beneath the ice. Additionally, there is new stadium seating, LED lighting and a VIP viewing room. Regulation standard rink boards and players' boxes and an LED multi-screen scoreboard is also being added to the arena.
The rink has been a hub for local ice skating and hockey enthusiasts, as well as a place for the University of New Mexico’s club hockey team to practice and play during their season. The changes to the rink will not affect public access to the ice and the rink is still affiliated with the UNM hockey team, coordinating the schedules of the Ice Wolves alongside the Lobos.
The driving force behind the renovations is the goal of exciting the community about the new junior hockey team. All the upgrades are expected to be finished by the time the Ice Wolves host their first home game against the Odessa Jackalopes later this month.
As for the team, head coach Phil Fox is in the process of polishing the team to be a competitive player in the South Division of the North American Hockey League. With young and fresh players, the team is currently ranked last of seven in their division.
The Ice Wolves faced other South Division teams in the NAHL over the last month, including the Shreveport Mudbugs, the Bismarck Bobcats, the Maine Nordiques, the Austin Bruins and the New Jersey Titans.
In their latest game, the junior team fell short to the Titans by three goals, 5-2.
The Jackalopes are currently ranked number six. Having only played one game this season, they have a 1-0 record.
The weekend matches will begin on Friday, Sept. 27 at the new and improved Outpost Ice Arena and will continue to Saturday the 28th. Both games begin at 7:30 p.m.
Alanie Rael is the sports editor at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at email@example.com or on Twitter @AllyRael