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Big Dipper Ice Arena

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Big Dipper Ice Arena
The Big Dipper
Big Dipper Ice Arena
Location 1920 Lathrop St., Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
Opened 1968
Owner Fairbanks North Star Borough
Operator Fairbanks North Star Borough Dept. of Parks & Recreation
Architect Hez Ray/Design Alaska, LLC
Tenants Fairbanks Ice Dogs (AWHL/NAHL) (2001-present)
Capacity Seating Capacity: 1,857
Total Capacity: 2,200

The Big Dipper Ice Arena, colloquially known as "The Big Dipper", is a multi-purpose arena in Fairbanks, Alaska. The arena is owned and operated by the Fairbanks North Star Borough. The Big Dipper was brought to Fairbanks from Tanacross, Alaska in 1968, and has undergone two major renovations since then. It is home to the Fairbanks Ice Dogs ice hockey team.



Prior to 1968, the building now known as the Big Dipper was an aircraft hangar located in Tanacross, Alaska. Constructed during World War II, the building saw little use after the war.

In 1968, Fairbanks High School hockey coach Hez Ray and a crew of volunteers undertook a project to move the derelict hangar to Fairbanks and repurpose it as an ice skating arena. The group purchased the hangar for a dollar and, using equipment donated by Fairbanks construction companies, dismantled the building and moved it to Fairbanks. The volunteers then reconstructed the building in its present location from the dismantled parts of the hangar. After rebuilding the hangar, the volunteers built an ice rink and bleachers inside, but due to a lack of resources the building itself remained essentially as it had been in Tanacross, without plumbing or heat.

On February 14, 2009 the facility hosted an outdoor game between the Fairbanks Ice Dogs and the Alaska Avalanche, which was the first ever sanctioned outdoor game by USA Hockey.

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