Indoor Arenas: FAQs - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Indoor Arenas Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does Minnesota regulate the air in enclosed sports arenas?

Prior to 1973, there was an incident where elevated concentrations of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide emitted from a resurfacing machine caused illness in spectators and hockey players in a Minnesota ice arena. The state legislature recognized the importance of having safe air to breathe in ice arenas and other enclosed sports arenas and has given the MDH the responsibility of making rules to ensure arena air quality. Since that time, other states have also passed rules to regulate air in ice arenas.

What causes the concern over air quality in ice arenas and/or enclosed sports arenas?

When internal combustion engines are operated in enclosed spaces or buildings, harmful levels of carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide may be emitted with the engine exhaust and released into the air. There have been situations where these gases have made people sick.

How does MDH ensure safety in arenas?

Enclosed sports arenas where internal combustion engines are in use must be certified by MDH. There are specific air quality maintenance and monitoring requirements that accompany the certification of any arena.

How do I know if the arena I go into is certified?

The rule requires that the certificate must be displayed in a conspicuous place in the ice arena. Certificates are often posted in the lobby area of arenas.

How do arenas keep their air safe for me to breathe?

Ice arenas are required to maintain safe air quality conditions in their arena. As part of this responsibility, arenas must perform weekly air monitoring for carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide. Methods used to maintain air quality include ensuring proper arena ventilation and keeping internal combustion engines in good working condition.

What do arenas need to report?

Ice arenas and enclosed sports arenas are to report their air monitoring test results to MDH on a quarterly basis.

Updated Wednesday, June 17, 2015 at 08:59AM