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Guided tours at the National Sports Center

12/04/2012, 4:45pm CST
By Barclay Kruse, NSC Chief Communications Officer

The topic for today is tours, as in guided tours of the National Sports Center. We occasionally do behind-the-scene tours of the National Sports Center campus. Usually these tours are for people with a professional interest in what we're doing here -- college groups, delegations from other cities and sports venues, or media and potential sponsors.

But recently we've had two unusual -- for us -- tour groups. During the recent All-American Girls' Hockey Tournament, event director Susan Schmidt offered a tour of the Schwan Super Rink as an activity option for players and their families. I led the tour, and at the appointed hour, about 40 people showed up! I didn't know how many to expect -- maybe a dozen -- and 40 certainly blew me away, in a good way. And best of all, nearly all were from out of town -- Thunder Bay, Ontario, Illinois, Texas and Duluth. In addition to seeing all eight sheets of ice, we looped through the Herb Brooks Training Center, where I explained the NSC's connection to the hockey icon, and even took the group inside the U.S. Women's National Team locker room, a rare opportunity for NSC visitors. I thought it would be a 30-minute tour; after an hour I was still entertaining questions and comments. There were lots of great questions, from an audience that was passionate about hockey.

The other unusual tour was when our Ice Arena Operations and Program Director Pete Carlson showed off the Super Rink to one of our youngest tour groups, from Cub Scout Lion Den 17 in Coon Rapids. What do you think the Cubs were most interested in? Zamboni's of course!

We're happy to do more tours like this in the future. In fact, I think you'll see campus tours on the program during next summer's Schwan's USA CUP soccer tournament activity schedule. If you have a group that would like to take a behind-the-scenes tour of the NSC campus, just send me a note at bkruse@mnsports.org. We can tailor your tour to your group's time availability and specific interest.

We think we're doing some interesting things here; come take a look!

Ice Arena Operations and Program Director Pete Carlson shows off the Super Rink to one of our youngest tour groups, from Cub Scout Lion Den 17 in Coon Rapids. Here, the Cubs learn how a Zamboni works.

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