Late Governor Rudy Perpich dreamed of Minnesota hosting the winter Olympics. To make that goal a reality, Minnesota needed world-class sports facilities.
That’s how Roseville's Guidant John Rose MN OVAL was first conceived in the 1980s. Perpich, in pursuit of the 1996 U.S. Olympic bid, urged lawmakers to help fund a series of sport facilities including a state-of-the-art national speedskating and bandy center. Roseville leaders were also eager for the opportunity and submitted a one-inch thick proposal for a speedskating oval to state officials in 1987.
Minnesota saw its Olympic dreams dashed in 1988 when the U.S. Olympic Committee selected Atlanta as its 1996 bid city. But the wheels for the OVAL were already in motion. In 1992, Governor Arne Carlson, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Olympians, approved state financing for the project.
The Guidant John Rose MN OVAL opened in December 1993, named after a local schoolteacher and state representative.
The OVAL is the largest artificial outdoor sheet of ice in North America and draws elite athletes and amateur skaters from around the region and the nation. The 110,000 square feet of outdoor refrigerated ice has hosted international events. It’s the home of bandy in the United States and is used by the United States men's and women‘s national bandy teams.
The OVAL has hosted the 2006 Women's Bandy World Championship; 1995 Men’s Bandy World Championship; U.S. Speedskating Championships; U.S. Junior Speedskating Championships; American Cup Speedskating; World Cup Speedskating; and National Bandy Championships.
The OVAL is open for the public to enjoy. It hosts ice skating from November to March. In the summer months, the OVAL offers a skate park and inline skating from May to September.
The OVAL recently underwent nearly $4 million in renovations and repairs covered by state bonding dollars.
Click here to learn more about the Guidant John Rose MN Oval.