Last reviewed February 2007
Resources on Minnesota Issues
Mighty Ducks Program
This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference
Library on a topic of interest to Minnesota legislators. It is designed
to provide an introduction to the topic, directing the user to a variety
of sources, and is not intended to be exhaustive.
In the early 1990s Minnesota legislators recognized the need to expand opportunities
for boys and girls participating in winter sports such as hockey and figure skating.
Minnesota girls had taken up hockey with great enthusiasm. In 1994 the Minnesota
State High School League was the first in the country to sanction girls' ice hockey.
The first girls' state hockey tournament in the country was held in February 1995
at Aldrich Arena in Maplewood. Growth of ice sports at all age levels increased
the demand for ice time for practice and games. The Legislature created an Ice
Arena Task Force in 1994, which in 1995 identified more than 90 Minnesota communities
or schools in need of indoor ice facilities.
Guided by two strong supporters, Sen. Jim Metzen and former Rep. Bob Milbert,
the Legislature appropriated funds annually, beginning in 1995, for an ambitious
program to leverage local money for facilities to support ice sports in Minnesota.
As related on the Minnesota Amateur Sports
Commission website, over $18 million was awarded to help communities build
new ice facilities, producing a net gain of 61 new sheets of ice statewide. The
commission paid the last grantee in July 2004.
Language regarding the program is coded in Minnesota Statutes,
- Laws of Minnesota 1994, chapter 648, article 2, sections 1-4.
"The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission shall develop a plan to promote
the development of proposals for new statewide public ice facilities
including proposals for ice centers and matching grants based on the
criteria in this section."
Laws of Minnesota 1995, chapter 254, article 1, section 17. As part
of the State Departments Appropriations Bill, the Legislature approved nearly
$2.9 million for ice arena construction and renovation. The proposal, effective
July 1, 1995, was originally part of House File 1260, sponsored by Rep. Bob Milbert
(DFL-South St. Paul). The Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission was authorized to
distribute grants of up to $250,000 each to local communities, divided equally
among metro area and Greater Minnesota (article 1, section 76).
Laws of Minnesota 1996, chapter 463, section 14, subdivisions 2,7.
The Omnibus Bonding Bill provided
$8 million for ice arenas around the state. The Minnesota Amateur
Sports Commission received $6.5 million for grants to local communities
for the construction of new ice arenas. $500,000 was set aside for
grants to renovate arenas at least 20 years old. $1 million was marked
for the construction of a national curling center on the Iron Range
if the project was endorsed by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
Laws of Minnesota 1997, chapter 202, article 1, section 26. An appropriation of $5 million
was approved for grants for ice centers of up to $250,000 each. $1
million of the appropriation could be used for renovation grants of
up to $100,000 each for existing ice arenas.
Laws of Minnesota 1998, chapter 404, section 15, subdivision 6. The Omnibus Bonding Bill contained
$2 million dollars for grants of up to $250,000 each for ice centers
chosen under the criteria outlined in 240A.09,
- Although the 1999 MN Legislature appropriated $4 million dollars for the Mighty
Ducks Program in the State Departments Appropriations Bill (Laws
of Minnesota 1999,
chapter 250), Governor Ventura vetoed the appropriations. Governor Ventura
wrote, "This appropriation is more appropriately considered as part of a
capital bonding request. I will consider it for inclusion in the 2000 capital
- Laws of Minnesota 2000, chapter
492, article 1, section 13, subdivision 2. The Omnibus Bonding Bill included
$810,000 in ice arena grants.
SIGNIFICANT BOOKS AND REPORTS:
Mighty Ducks Community Ice Arena Grant Program. Blaine, MN: Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission, 1998.
(GV850.7 .M562 1998) (Required by Laws of Minnesota 1997, chapter 252, article 1, section 26.)
Report to the Legislature. Blaine, MN: Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission Ice
Arena Task Force, 1995. (GV850.7.M56 1995) (Required by Laws of Minnesota 1994,
chapter 648, article 2, section 1.)
Shepard, Mark. Gender Equity in Indoor Ice Arenas. St. Paul: Minnesota
House of Representatives, House Research Department, 1994. (GV850.7 S54 1994)
SIGNIFICANT INTERNET RESOURCES:
Minnesota Amateur Sports Commission
ADDITIONAL LIBRARY RESOURCES:
For historical information, check the following codes in the Newspaper Clipping File and the Vertical File:
S148.10 (Sports - Hockey), M68-Amateur Sports Commission
For additional reports at the Legislative Reference Library, search the key words 'skating rinks' in the Library