The Securian Financial Equity on Ice Education Center is now open at Treasure Island Center!
In 2017, the Saint Paul Port Authority was working hand-in-hand with the Minnesota Wild to build-out TRIA Rink, the team’s practice facility at 400 Wabasha Street, Saint Paul*. The end result would be a hockey facility to rival any in North America. The Wild would manage the rink and schedule ice time. Go Wild, LLC would be the landlord. And, because the Wild only needed five percent of available ice time, there would be plenty available for community use. In fact, more than 700,000 people were expected to visit the facility each year.
Despite the excitement surrounding the project, it was soon apparent that wealthier teams, across the Metro, would quickly lock-in ice time for games, practices, and camps. This left limited time available for inner city youth. At that point, we knew we had to better. But how?
We realized we couldn’t do it alone, so we connected with nonprofit organizations that had expertise in both youth development and leveraging hockey or figure skating as part of their community outreach. Early on, we were introduced to DinoMights. The Minneapolis nonprofit had found a way to successfully merge hockey with tutoring and mentoring. Their results were impressive. Since 1995, 86 percent of participants have graduated high school, a rate significantly higher than their peers. Surely the same concept would work in Saint Paul.
From there, the Port Authority was introduced to three additional organizations. First was Brownbody. Brownbody’s mission is to build artistic experiences that disrupt biased narratives and prompt audiences to engage as active participants in the journey. Brownbody accomplishes this through a blend of modern dance, theater, social justice, and figure skating.
Next was the Saint Paul Police Activities League (PAL). PAL’s mission is to build trust and understanding between police officers and youth. They accomplish their goal through education, athletics, and recreational activities.
The final group was Friends of Saint Paul Hockey. Their mission is to minimize financial barriers that keep kids from playing hockey. They spend much of their time fundraising. Money raised enhances outreach to youth from all Saint Paul and Ramsey County neighborhoods who want to play hockey. Their efforts improve access and increase participation through available ice time for “open hockey,” free introductory teams, equipment exchanges, scholarships, and access to training that is common practice in the suburbs but rare in the city.
Together, these organizations had the ability to bring equity to TRIA Rink. More importantly, doing so would further their respective missions. With this in mind, we created a plan that would enhance their purchasing power at TRIA Rink while providing a home base within Treasure Island Center. We raised funds through Capital City Properties (CCP), our not-for-profit arm, to secure ice time and build-out the Securian Financial Equity on Ice Education Center.
The Securian Financial Equity on Ice Education Center
The Securian Financial Equity on Ice Education Center is the hub that brings it all together. Above all, it gives each organization the space they need to grow in Saint Paul. For most, this includes a dedicated office for up to two employees. For others, its access to on-site storage. The space offers a large multi-purpose room to be used for tutoring, mentoring, and board meetings. There’s a smaller conference room for casual meetings and brainstorming sessions. In addition, the Securian Financial Equity on Ice Center offers easy access to TRIA Rink, which is only three floors above.
Ongoing Fundraising Needs
At the Securian Financial Equity on Ice Center, our nonprofit partners’ only financial obligations are for utilities and cleaning costs. As a building owner, and master lease holder, we offer the space rent-free. In addition, CCP continues to raise funds so we can continue to support Equity on Ice into the future. Fundraising priorities include:
- Ice time
- Utilities and cleaning services
- Healthy snacks
- School supplies
- Loan payments (tied to the build-out)
*The Saint Paul Port Authority owns 25 percent of Treasure Island Center, through Go Wild, LLC, a joint venture partnership between Capital City Properties (the not-for-profit arm of the Saint Paul Port Authority) and Hempel Companies.