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Speed Skating Forum Most of the discussions in this forum will be about inline speed skating but discussions about ice speed skating and quad roller speed skating are also welcome.

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Old December 14th, 2016, 06:19 PM   #1
Alyosha
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Default The New "Rollerdome"

Last night was the first night of skating at the new US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. After a couple years of waiting and some trepidation as to the quality of the skating experience, I was happy to get in and try it first hand. A few initial thoughts....

As a "speedskating" venue, this is probably a no-go. With all skaters on one level, as opposed to fast skaters on one and slower skaters on another as it was in the metrodome, it's just too crowded. I saw several occasions where oblivious skaters drifted to the far inside track and blocked traffic of people going "not-even-a-little-bit-fast". Were someone actually trying to push the speed it would be disastrous.

As a social skating venue, though, it's awesome. The Metrodome was super cramped, leaving people almost nowhere to mill about and chat. I mean, they made it happen, but it was never comfortable. At US Bank there is a huge area for change / putting on skates and there are numerous alcoves around the building where people can pull off to socialize. While I'm not a chatty sort of dude, I think this a good thing for a lot of people.

In terms of skating quality, the floor seems grippier than the Metrodome and the concourse is both wider and narrower than the dome. In most places there is more space to skate but in several spots the hallway narrows down significantly. There are also several pillars in the middle of the walkway. Overall I think it's a better experience but it does require a bit more paying attention. The much worried about expansion joints were pretty much a non-issue. The rubber joints were replaced with metal ones and they were easy to roll over. No worse than the metal joints at the Roseville Oval (for those familiar with that track).

Overall, it's not perfect, the price is a little high, and the available dates are too few, but I'm glad to have it back. This was also the first time I was able to take my 9 year old son skating with me so that makes the whole experience seem a little bit better.

Quick local news coverage here
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Old December 14th, 2016, 08:38 PM   #2
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Default

I've never skated there and have very limited experience at the old Metrodome, but I think your write-up is very accurate from what I saw from a few videos posted on Facebook last night. At times, it seemed so much better than the old venue. At other times, it seemed sketchy. The one advantage the Metrodome had (from my brief experience there) is that it was consistent. It was the same width all the way around...there were no pillars or major obstacles anywhere near the middle...and it followed a consistent "turn." With the new stadium, it looks unpredictable...obviously that unpredictability goes away with practice and familiarity, but it does look like it goes from wide to narrow to open to closed to having something in front of you and having to change path, etc.

I heard from another fellow skater that said pretty much the same thing you did...it's a great time for casual skating, but too crowded for speed skating. Nonetheless, you're still lucky to have it. I wish more places like this would offer speed skating. We have some big malls where I live that are on the verge of going bankrupt and if you cleared out a few things here and there, it would be possible to open up a large section that would be suitable for skating. It will never happen in Missouri. We just don't have that type of following or passion for inline skating to ever get enough push for something like that...unfortunately.
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Old December 15th, 2016, 01:23 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SkateMO View Post
...it's a great time for casual skating, but too crowded for speed skating. Nonetheless, you're still lucky to have it....
This is the attitude I take. I'm not going to look a gift-skating-venue in the mouth. It's not perfect but it's a place to skate. And I'm hearing rumors of a dedicated speed skating hour after general skating times but that remains to be seen.
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Old December 16th, 2016, 07:01 PM   #4
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http://www.usbankstadium.com/events/...inline-skating

There are now more dates added for skating as well as dedicated "family" and "athletic" skate times. Still not a ton of dates but, again, I'm taking what I can get.
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Old December 22nd, 2016, 04:46 PM   #5
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A few months ago pictures where taken during tours/public opening. The pictures showed rubber expansion joints that stuck up from the floor almost like a speed bump. What happened to those?

And what is the distance per loop?
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Old December 27th, 2016, 01:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 73skater View Post
A few months ago pictures where taken during tours/public opening. The pictures showed rubber expansion joints that stuck up from the floor almost like a speed bump. What happened to those?

And what is the distance per loop?
They replaced the rubber expansion joint covers with metal ones. They're less than ideal but not a big problem to skate over.

And not sure on the distance - around a half mile I think.
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 02:23 PM   #7
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Ever think there will be another race in there? or is it less than ideal, unlike the Rollerdome?
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 09:05 PM   #8
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Ever think there will be another race in there? or is it less than ideal, unlike the Rollerdome?
There's been no talk of a race so anything that follows is purely my opinion.... I think a "limited" race could be doable. A small, elite only, time trial or something. But the concourse is too uneven to do anything large scale - especially with inexperienced racers there would be large scale crashing.
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Old January 3rd, 2017, 10:37 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alyosha View Post
There's been no talk of a race so anything that follows is purely my opinion.... I think a "limited" race could be doable. A small, elite only, time trial or something. But the concourse is too uneven to do anything large scale - especially with inexperienced racers there would be large scale crashing.
If the number of skaters was controlled, I bet it could happen. Heck we have races in roller rinks and that is only 100m
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