Bloomington To Rename Ice Rink After 'Coach Joe' | WGLT

Bloomington To Rename Ice Rink After 'Coach Joe'

Jul 24, 2019

The City of Bloomington has announced it’s changing the name of Pepsi Ice Center and renaming its rink after Joe Olson, the man largely seen as the father of the Bloomington-Normal hockey community.

The rink will be named to posthumously honor Joe Olson, the longtime director of the city’s hockey program. He died in May.

Bloomington's naming rights deal with Pepsi expired in 2016.
Credit Eric Stock

“Joe knew the name of every player that came through our doors,” ice center manager Michael Hernbrott said. “We want everyone that ever enters into the rink to know him and all that he has done for the community.

“It’s due to Joe’s efforts that the Bloomington hockey community has grown to include the Bloomington Youth Hockey Association, the Central Illinois Girls Hockey Association, the McLean County Youth Hockey Association and the Central Illinois Sled Hockey Association.”

Pepsi Ice Center is being renamed the Bloomington Ice Center. Bloomington city spokesperson Nora Dukowitz said the city’s naming rights agreement with Pepsi expired in 2016, while the city kept the name.

The city council voted earlier this year to change beverage vendors. The city now sells Coca-Cola products at city-run facilities. Grossinger Motors Arena, which VenuWorks manages, still sells Pepsi products.

Dukowitz said in a statement the city is currently transitioning to the new names and should be complete in the next several weeks.

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