St. Cloud State renames home rink in honor of Herb Brooks

St. Cloud State announced Wednesday that the National Hockey and Event Center has been renamed the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center.

According to a school-issued news release, the university is working with sponsors on commercial naming rights and naming opportunities within the arena.

“Just as Herb Brooks saw Division I hockey as important to the state of Minnesota, St. Cloud State University sees this facility as important to Central Minnesota,” said St. Cloud State president Earl H. Potter II in a statement.

“He wasn’t a flashy guy,” added Herb Brooks’ son, Dan. “He wasn’t a materialistic guy. It wasn’t about the money for him. He was grass roots, build the game from the ground.

“He looked at the opportunity at St. Cloud, to turn that into a Division I hockey program, and he took it on 110 percent. He was his happiest when he was in St. Cloud.”

Brooks coached the 1986-87 Huskies to a 25-10-1 record and to third-place at the NCAA Division III tournament. He also worked with St. Cloud State officials to elevate the program to NCAA Division I status.

Two assistants from Brooks’ 1986-87 team, former coach Craig Dahl and current coach Bob Motzko, have guided the SCSU program in the Division I era, with nine NCAA tournament berths in that span.

The SCSU news release noted that While the word “event” is no longer in the arena name, the Herb Brooks National Hockey Center will host events “of all kinds.”

The $14.7 million renovation and expansion, including a four-story atrium, expanded suites and club-level seating, is expected to be complete by mid-June. A campaign to fund remodeled locker rooms and a training area for both the men’s and women’s programs is underway.