'Mighty Ducks 3' arena in Fridley to be torn down


The City of Fridley has announced plans to buy and raze the crumbling Columbia Arena, where the third and final "Mighty Ducks" movie was filmed.

The city this week is closing on the $2.6 million purchase of the 14-acre site, with plans to tear down the vacant and neglected ice rink this fall and redevelop it as part of an undetermined project, the Star Tribune reports.

The arena opened in 1969, originally owned by Anoka County, and for years its interior echoed with the sounds of slap shots and cheering parents who were part of a number of local hockey associations.

The National Sports Center Foundation took possession of the arena in the 1990s, the Star Tribune notes. But the foundation sold the shabby facility in 2006 to private developers, who have considered a number of options, from senior housing to medical facilities, the Sun Focus reported.

But no plans materialized, so the city finally took action.

“Our residents see it a real eyesore,” Paul Bolin, Fridley’s assistant executive director of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority, told the Star Tribune.

Perhaps the arena's greatest claim to fame came when filmmakers on the 1996 movie "D3: The Mighty Ducks" used the arena to shoot a number of scenes. The film trilogy, shot largely in the Minnesota, featured actor Emilio Estevez leading a ragtag group of Twin Cities youth hockey players. You can get a glimpse of the arena in the movie trailer:

But since then, the arena has become a dilapidated shell of a building that attracts squatters and graffiti artists. A local blogger who was taking photos of the outside of the building earlier this summer was surprised to find a door open, and he took several startling shots of the squalid interior.

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