‘Pond on Madison’ has something for everyone

The original idea of “Pond on Madison” was built on the hopes of bringing a little something to everyone in Mankato.
Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 7:58 AM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Those that remember the old Shopko building on Madison Avenue and have driven past the construction may have noticed the newly-renovated “Pond on Madison.”

The original idea of “Pond on Madison” was built on the hopes of bringing a little something to everyone in Mankato.

“The ”Pond on Madison” was a concept to bring grass root hockey back to Mankato; to help the MAHA (Mankato Area Hockey Association) area have another hockey rink,” explained UNRL Hockey GM Chris LaCombe. “So, they can have Mites, Squirts, Peewees, Bantams, high school and, of course, the Minnesota Mavericks are out here, today.” So [we’re] looking to just bring extra hockey and another way to bring excitement back into the community to have fun at the rink. That’s really what the UNRL rink is about. Part of the “Pond on Madison” [includes], of course, the crooked pint, the venue, our event center. everything [is] in one location: outdoor pickle ball, indoor bowling, indoor golf. {It’s] kind of bringing everything here.”

LaCombe spoke about the effort that went into the “Pond on Madison”.

“Yeah! Complete team effort!” said LaCombe. “I mean, it’s been several years in the making. We’re meeting several times a week, with concepts/ideas, and everybody puts their minds together. We had a good team of guys that wanted to do good for the community, and I really think how it turned out: it’s something special!”

With the hockey season right around the corner, he mentioned what the community can expect to see in the coming months.

“A couple key events coming up: we are going to have a purple and gold game for the mavericks, early September, which will be a three-on-three game night, open to the public, to come watch this year’s Maverick team out on this ice.”

Surrounded by plenty, the UNRL rink and what it is for.

“I think what you’re going to see is youth hockey and leagues, Mites, Squirts, Peewees, Bantams, and adult leagues, co-ed leagues, girls’ hockey; that’ll go on in the UNRL rink for everybody in the community, and the surrounding areas,” said LaCombe. “What we’d like to do is [have] a gathering place you can bring your family, you can go out: 80 years old, play pickle ball; five years old: come out on the hockey rink. Everybody [can] kind of have a place to meet, and [have] a nice restaurant to eat in -- and a good place to hang out!”

At the end of the day, what he hopes the "Pond on Madison" brings to Mankato.

“[We’re] Just looking forward to serving the community, having a great place for everyone to be around us,” said LaCombe. “I just think something new was needed, and I think we revitalized an area that was an older building and brought it back to life.”

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