The ASU hockey team may not be staying at Oceanside Ice Arena forever, but while it is still there, the Sun Devils will be playing in a massively renovated arena, according to Adam Mims, the executive director at Oceanside.
Oceanside is demolishing the U18 locker room and the current ACHA Division II locker room, Mims said. The skate rental room is already gone, which paves the way for a 200-foot row of bleachers on the south side of the arena.
The new bleachers will be three feet higher than they are now, creating what Mims described as a bowl effect. Seating will no longer be general admission, with numbered seats and staggered pricing depending on what section fans purchase their ticket in.
Bleachers will also have heating, making the entire arena a more enjoyable place to watch a hockey game. It will include wrap-around bleachers on the northeast side and the possibility of VIP seating as well.
In March, Oceanside will take out the current boards, glass and benches on the north side of the rink so it can put in all new ones, including putting the penalty box on the same side of the ice as the benches, in compliance with NCAA regulations.
With the penalty boxes no longer obstructing the view of fans, the rink will add new seamless glass boards along the rink.
Oceanside was built to cater to the Firebirds of the Desert Youth Hockey Association, whose colors are red, white and blue. The combination of ASU's move to NCAA and the Firebirds' rebrand as the Jr. Sun Devils next season means it's time to change the color scheme.
"Right now we're the home of ASU, but when you look at this building, you see Firebird hockey," Mims said.
No more. The arena will get a facelift and be painted maroon and gold. Part of that includes putting the pitchfork logo at center ice. Because of the vertical nature of the pitchfork logo, it will not be confined to the circle and spill out.
"It will look pretty cool," Mims said with a grin.
The renovations will happen throughout the summer and remain open for Oceanside's other hockey activities. It will close for one week in March to add the new boxes and its standard week in July to repaint the ice.
Mims did not provide a specific dollar figure for the renovations, but it is expected to be in the hundred thousands. That bill will be paid entirely by Oceanside Ice Arena.