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The Old Barn: Part 4

Basketball moved to Crisler Arena in 1967, leaving behind The Old Barn for The House that Cazzie Built. Yost Field House lost its biggest draw, and for the next six years, it would not replace hoops with a major sport. That all changed in 1973, when the Michigan hockey team moved from Weinberg Coliseum to their new home at Yost ice arena. The reason wasn’t necessarily that Yost was such a good venue, but rather that The Coliseum had fallen behind the times: “The arena was horrible,” said Don Canham. When Don Lund suggested moving the hockey team to Yost, Canham was willing to do what he needed to. Of course, Yost was a building designed for many sports to be played in it, and hockey wasn’t one of them. However, Athletic Canham was able to renovate the Old Barn to make it suitable for the hockey team to move in. For $400,000, Yost changed from an all-purpose field house to an ice arena fit for one of the premier teams in the WCHA. Of course, Canham’s decision was a wise one, like most he made in his tenure, turning Michigan’s Athletic Department from a sinkhole for money into one of the most profitable in the nation.

Today, Yost Ice Arena looks very different from the way it did when it was built as Yost Field house in 1923. Though the exterior is basically unchanged, there are a few key differences. Ice permanently covers the playing surface of the building, and the seating arrangements have been adjusted several times over the years. In 1996, Yost underwent a major renovation, in which press facilities were upgraded, seating was added on the north end of the ice, and a new home locker room was constructed. Because of this renovation, seating was decreased substantially. Just 5 years later, the arena was again changed. Balcony box seating and a club lounge were added on the east side. These improvements to Yost Ice Arena were intended to improve the hockey experience for spectators and players. The Michigan Daily, however, was no so fond of either renovation.

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“The Old Barn: Part 4”