Return to Home Page
The Bubble



 The Bubble
In the Summer of 1981 Siouxland Youth Hockey embarked on a plan to provide their own hockey facility separate from the
City owned Auditorium. Ice time was at a premium cost as the poor economic conditions of the early 80's were taking hold.

A inflatable facility was located in Jackson, Tennessee and purchased by SYHA. It was trucked back to (South) Sioux City and
erected largely with volunteer help on the evening and weekends.

 SYHA's quick work to secure a financing and a location paid we beat Mason City, who had no indoor facility,
 to the purchase by 48 hours!!!

Several loyal hockey families and local business help fund the massive $2220,000 dollar project.

It lasted only one season...

Finding a building
Left: It all started here with this For Sale advertisement  Right: An aerial Shot of the facility for sale
Left & Right: Aerial shots of the building in Jackson, TN. Taken by Curt Stoever. Several Board members fly over the facility in a
 plane provided by Sioux City Businessman, Musketeer owner, SYHA Board Member and huge hockey supporter Ted Carlson

Top Left & Right: Street level shots of the building's entrance in Jackson, Tennessee.  Bottom Left & Right: Inside views of the rink 
Left: Ted Carlson inspects the Zamboni  Right: Some of the 800 pairs of rental skates included in the deal

Location, Location, Location
The new rink was located in South Sioux City at 510 E. 5th Street. Currently, this is where the Marina Inn Convention Center is located.
The site was chosen because of its proximity and access to Sioux City. In addition, the site had existing utilities and was subject to
a three year lease-free option through the City of South Sioux.

Looking at Sioux City, Standing on what would eventually become known as "The Bubble"
Left: The Dark Building in the foreground is the Marina Inn. The Auditorium is across the river  Right: Cityscape east of the Audi

Site Preparation
Jack Pinney Wrecking & Grading provided most of the site preparation for this project. Jack was also a huge supporter of youth hockey. 
Ted Carlson, Dave Adam, Unknown Member, Ben Hanson and Bob Post start the initial lay-out of the new facility

Ground Breaking

South Sioux City Mayor George Cole, Ted Carlson, Jack Pinney, Denny Nelson (SSC Chamber Member) and Lance
Headquist (SSC City Administrator) all take a turn at turning dirt in the new project.

Construction Begins
Left: One of the seven truckloads of material is unloaded by SYHA volunteers Right: Piles of flooring and one of the 4 fans used
to keep the Bubble fully inflated.

Members from Northwestern Bell begin drilling some of the 200 separate 7 foot earth anchors that will hold the bubble to the ground.

Brick layer Tom Coulson (red hat) installs block for the locker-room and concessions area with the help of volunteers from the
185 Air National Guard. That's Craig Stoever tending.

Left: Ben Hanson, Kirk Hanson and Damon Lohry get the masonry ready for the Right: Masonry begins

Left: Musketeer General Manager John McNeil, Craig Stoever and Rick Suggett   Right: Guys work on the Bubble Entrance

Left: Curt Stoever & Dave Adam Right: Brett Kieler work on the Bubble Entrance building

The Bubble entrance nears completion. These pics show the "rotating doors" that allowed the air to stay in the building as people entered
and exited. That channel around the doors is where the bubble will attach to the entrance.

Left: Dave Adam leaving another Construction Meeting  Right: Hockey Players pick-up loose cement bags

Guys work on the second of two main entrances. This is where the Zamboni door is located and is the second place that the bubble
requires a physical attachment of the bubble to a building. This will allow for garage door installation and a back exit.

Before the Bubble could be inflated, it required a lot of repair to damages it received during transportation from its Tennessee location.
This tedious process was handled by several hockey moms who spent a lot of hours repairing seam splits and holes all while inhaling
some heavy duty adhesive fumes. They were eventually to become known as "The Patchetts"
Patchetts Sara Post, Jo Carlson and Kay Reynolds work their magic making the bubble air tight once again

Left: The Patchetts Carolyn Stoever and Kay Reynolds  Right: Dave Adam and Ted Carlson get ready to supervise the raising of
the Bubble for the first time

Left: Dan Reynolds (Yellow shirt) Ted O'Brien (Red Hat) Mike Adam (overalls) and Mark Adam (no shirt) make their way around
the entire bubble attaching it to the earth anchors. Right: Craig Stoever gets ready to hook the bubble to the entrance as it inflates.

Everyone helps lift the bubble entrance to make its physical connection to the sealed bubble entrance

Walking the Bubble. As the bubble filled with air, you had to walk the entire bubble removing wrinkles and checking for any areas of
 missed damage that may allow air to escape. It took almost a half a day to fill the entire bubble. Bottom Right: Brad Hanson and
 Carlyon Stoever take a little break as the slow process of inflation takes place.

Left: The bubble inflates and while the attention to the main entrance attachment is the focus, the Zamboni door pictured here will be the
 next area of focus as the bubble inflates. Right: Later that day, Fully inflated

View From Across The River
These pictures of the fully inflated Bubble put into perspective just how big this thing was. At 240 feet long, 110 feet wide, it towered
some 45 feet in the air. If the Bubble was filled with water, it would hold close to 3 million gallons of water.

Taken from the top of the old Northwestern Bell building at 9th & Douglas St. over a mile away !!!

Brett Kieler installing the roof flashing and shingles as he helps with the entrance roof .


The Rink
Members roll out, straighten and place the 44 miles of Teflon coolant tubing 1" apart for some 17,000 square feet!!!

The Boards
Top Left: Mike O'Brien, Dan Reynolds, Kirk Swanson, Ted O'Brien and Wendell Reynolds (white shirt) start the tedious task of
connecting and straightening coolant lines. Other Pics: Members install the dasher boards

The Ice
Past Musketeer Player and Musketeer coach Bob Ferguson help with the final touches before ice making can begin. During the 75-76
season Bob was a Player-Coach (Just like Reggie Dunlop/Charlestown Chiefs) for the Tucson Icemen. He would go on to lead the
Musketeers to two Clark Cup Championships and is currently the ranks as the third winningest coach in USHL history.

Left: SYHA Board member Dick Keith and Mike O'Brien help with the final rink base preparation as excited hockey parents wait
for the ice making to begin.  Right: Two unknown workers man the hose to make ice.

Left: Musketeer General Manager John McNeil and Owner Ted Carlson take on some of the ice making duties.
SYHA player Kevin Wiskus looks on. Right: Ted takes over near the main entrance of the rink.

Opening Night SYHA
SYHA took the chance to use the ice for practices and learn to skate sessions prior to the official opening of the rink later that day.

Ribbon Cutting
September 1st, 1981
Later the evening an official Grand Opening was held. Members of the SC and SSC chamber of Commerce and the media were in
attendance to honor all those who made the Bubble possible. Refreshments and open skating for all was available.
Left: South Sioux City Mayor Vern Larson (left) and Sioux City Mayor George Cole (right) make the opening official. Ron
Papp (center) and Fred Davenport (hat) look on. Right:

Let The Skating Begin

SYHA Is Back In Business
Later that evening SYHA finished the night with a open ice session for the older SYHA and high school players. Today would be the first day
of a schedule of SYHA games and practices. Musketeer Head Coach Bob Ferguson and Metros Head Coach Walt Johnson offered up
a great chance for some inter-age group shinny.

Craig Stoever    Carolyn Stoever    Walt Johnson

Metros player Craig Stoever, his mom Carolyn Stoever and Head Coach and former Musketeer Walt Johnson stand out side the Bubble.

From the Air in its New Home
Top: Taken from the Iowa side. That parking lot in the lower right of each photo where the current Perkin's Restaurant is located.

Taken in the Nebraska side looking in a northwest direction. Right: Nebraska side looking straight west. That empty area
in the bottom right is where the current Siouxland Y building is located.

Calling All Ice Skaters
The Bubble was easiest to find at night!!!

End of the Line
During the early morning hours of July 21st, 1982, heavy winds and storm conditions caused catastrophic damage to the Bubble. Winds
clocked up to 55 mph caused the early 8 tons of canvas to fall the ground destroying much of the boards & glass and lighting fixtures.
Left & Right: Brad Hanson (gray shirt) and Craig Stoever (blue shirt) survey the damage Right: Standing left of the main entrance.
Left: Standing at center ice looking towards the main entrance. Right: Standing at the main entrance you can see the Zamboni garage.

Left: Southwest corner of the rink. That's the Zamboni exit from the ice. The walk-through door pictured is the entrance to the heated
concessions area, viewing area and rink offices. Right: Brad and Craig walk past one of the fans used to inflate the bubble.

Left: Whoever attached the bubble to this door frame here gets a gold star!!! Right: Standing on the blue line looking west. Pictured is
 the Zamboni exit from the ice and the Zamboni garage building.

During the summer of '82 the Bubble would be replaced by a metal building facility called the Carlson Event Center. It
featured increased seating capacity and heat!!! This would be home for SYHA until 1985 when youth hockey would return to
 the Sioux City Auditorium.

The Carlson Event Center would be called upon a few times to host the Musketeers

Musketeers vs. St. Paul Vulcans
USHL Championship Series / Game 3 / March 30th, 1984
Scheduling conflicts with the Auditorium forced the Musketeers to play their home games for the championship series at the Bubble.
Fans pack the Carlson Event Center to watch the Musketeer play the St. Paul Vulcans.






Return to Home Page