It was a long winter for many, and none more than Dee Stadium. Over the winter, with no hiccups, ice production felt seamless to those that took to the ice. Dee Stadium operated throughout the winter with a broken controller, an essential tool for employees to create a flat sheet of ice. Bassett Mechanical noticed the issue at the beginning of the season, but were able to create a fixable solution to help the stadium get through the winter.
The old controllers for Dee Stadium are 1996 models, and were installed around the same time many ice arenas began switching to a digital operating systems for ice production. Bassett Mechanical estimates cost of new controllers is 39,700 dollars. Mayor Pro-Tem, Robert Megowen, asked to elevate the funds to 41,000 dollars. In anticipation of any issues in supply chain or getting the compressors installed. The funds for the new controllers will come from the stadium’s budget.
Dee Stadium was built in 1902 and was home to the Portage Lakes, North America’s first ice hockey champions in 1903. And built prior to the formation of the International Hockey League in 1904, which marked the first pro-hockey league anywhere. The stadium was originally set up to have naturally formed ice. The building stands as a testament to the spirit of community, sport, and a love for winter. Today Dee Stadium offers skating from October to April each year, and rents out their ballroom year round. The historic ice stadium plays host to Copper Country Junior Hockey, Houghton High School’s hockey teams, and the Portage Lake Pioneers.