Detroit Whalers

Arena Name: Oak Park Ice Arena
Capacity: Unknown
Built: 1971
Last Game: 1996
Address: 13950 Oak Park Blvd., Oak Park, MI, 48237-2077
Ice Surface Size: Regulation


 Oak Park Ice Arena

Oak Park Ice Arena

 What Was the Arena Like?

Oak Park Ice Arena is a tiny brown-brick building in suburban Oak Park, Michigan. It's located on a quiet residential street in the middle of a community complex that also includes ball fields, a high school, public library, swimming pool, and many other community buildings. The arena is set far back from the road and announces its presence only with a large sign on the side of the building that says "Arena".

The building is tiny - St. Michael's Arena tiny. There is nothing announcing that the building might have possibly hosted any major events in the past. There isn't even a main entrance - just a small, steel door on the front of the building, painted brown. Once inside you find yourself in a small wooden lobby with a burning fireplace reminiscent of a Moose Lodge or something. The arena is in front of you, and once you enter through a heavy wooden door you find yourself in the worst arena in OHL history. There are only seats on one side of the ice, and even then these are plain wooden benches. The building feels ancient. The Zamboni garage is open and there is one tiny snack bar, and a big sign above the one end that says "Welcome to Oak Park Ice Arena: Home of the Honeybaked Hockey Club".

The Oak Park Ice Arena was only a last-ditch temporary home for the Whalers which shared hosting duties with the massive Palace of Auburn Hills for only one season. The team played 21 home games at the Palace and only 12 at Oak Park, however all of their playoff games were at Oak Park. By the next season the Whalers were moved on to Plymouth. To think that such a tiny, inadequate, run-down community rink hosted the OHL in the 1990's is absolutely astounding.

 Inside Oak Park Ice Arena

Oak Park Ice Arena

 What's the Arena Used for Today?
Oak Park Ice Arena is still open and hosting youth and recreational hockey and skating.

If anything is incorrect or you have something to add, please e-mail me at Email and I'll update the guide.

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Last Revised: December 7, 2019