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Town OKs 1980 rink seat sale

Terry Buczkowski, general manager of the Olympic Center, stands in the 1980 Rink in early March, as it is under construction. (Enterprise photo — Aaron Cerbone)

LAKE PLACID — The North Elba Town Council has given the state Olympic Regional Development Authority the OK to sell seats from the 1980 Herb Brooks Arena, where the legendary “Miracle on Ice” took place.

ORDA is currently overseeing a large-scale, multi-million-dollar renovation project at the Olympic Center ahead of the 2023 World University Games. In the 1980 Rink, where the U.S. hockey team made history with a win against the heavily favored Soviet Union team during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, the audience seating is being replaced.

Though ORDA has been responsible for maintaining and operating the Olympic Center since the early 1980s, the town of North Elba still owns the facility, including the seating that ORDA intends to replace. ORDA has already replaced around 1,500 of the 5,000 seats, but the old ones are still being stored at the Olympic Center. Last week, the town council agreed to sign an agreement that will allow ORDA to sell all of the 5,000 seats and keep the revenue from the sales.

“Well, they bought them,” Councilor Derek Doty said during the council’s meeting last Tuesday.

ORDA plans to use the revenue from the seat sales and reinvest it back into “future ORDA projects,” according to the agreement approved by the council.

There is a disposition process ORDA will go through before the sale, similar to how the old Whiteface gondolas were sold. Last year, the Cottage restaurant in Lake Placid used former gondolas it acquired for COVID-safe outdoor dining. ORDA is expected to release more information this week about how, and when, the seats will be sold.

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