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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Know Your Rinks: Berry Events Center

By Susannah Nichols/ Northern Michigan Beat Writer

Arena: Berry Events Center

Year Built: 1999

Capacity: 4,300 – up to 5,800 for concerts

Anchor Tenant: Northern Michigan University Wildcats: Hockey (CCHA) and Basketball (GLIAC). The US Short Track Speedskating team trained at the center until 2007, and the United States Olympic Education Center speedskating squad continues to train at the facility.

Famous Games: 3/12/10 and 3/13/10: An epic effort by goaltender Brian Stewart allowed the ‘Cats to advance to Joe by taking down the Alaska Nanooks with 4-3 and 5-1 victories.
3/9/2008: Northern defeats OSU 6-1 in game three of the first round of the CCHA tournament – a particularly sweet victory given that the hated Bucks defeated the ‘Cats in a last-minute win earlier in the season.

Unique Items: Berry is one of two CCHA arenas to feature Olympic sized ice. When the rink is converted into a basketball court, an insulated covering is placed over the ice and the flooring is then built on top. The changeover takes about four hours. Watch the process here.

Where to eat: Vango’s Pizza & Cocktail Lounge, Jean Kay’s Pasties & Subs, and Rice Paddy are all in close proximity to Berry.

Best Seats: There are 16 luxury suites in the arena. Or try the student sections—16 and 17.

Attractions: Presque Isle Park, Mount Marquette, Lakenenland Sculpture Park (15 miles east of Marquette), Beaumier UP Heritage Center, numerous hiking trails and falls.

Photo courtesy NMU Athletics

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