But in 1966, the Council of Ministers of the USSR set a different task for the polar city authorities: to expand the project of the indoor skating rink to a large sports complex, ‘a grandiose sports complex, the northernmost one in the world’, as they wrote.
The team of architects was led by Haim Mekler. The famous Norilsk architects Vitold Nepokoichitsky, Lidia Minenko, Mikhail Bitadze also took part in the work on the project. Construction began in 1968.
The first stage – an indoor skating rink with stands for 2850 seats – became a gift for Lenin’s centenary. On April 22, 1970, the first hockey players took to the ice: Norilsk Miner fought Talnah Geolog.
The sports complex was still nameless and unaddressed; in the newspapers it was called just The Sports Palace on the Dolgoye Lake Shore.
At the end of 1970, a competition for the best title was announced in the city newspaper. The Norilsk residents offered different options, and as a result, the Sports Palace received the proud name Arctica.
But the building was not yet fully completed. It was officially accepted only in 1971: in February, the championship of the Far Eastern zone of the USSR in hockey was held there.
The second stage – a building with an arena, halls for gymnastics and wrestling – was built by the end of 1974 (the state commission accepted it in January 1975).
The two buildings were connected by an auxiliary one, and another passage connected the Arctica with the adjacent swimming pool, there was also a small hotel Sport for guest teams.
In the last issue of the History spot photo project, we talked about the mosaics on Komsomolskaya street.
Text: Svetlana Samohina, Photo: Nornickel Polar Division archive